Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. (LGND) has won U.S. approval for a new drug to treat hot flashes that comes with menopause and osteoporosis. The new drug is called Duavee, and is most helpful for women going through menopause that experience moderate to severe hot flashes. The drug will also help decrease the chance of post-menopausal osteoporosis. PFE is the world's largest drug producer and they are teaming up with other pharmaceutical companies around the world for treatments against hot flashes. Duavee is the first FDA approved drug that combines estrogen with another compound that works on certain tissues.
Duavee contains bazedoxifene which is a vitamin that protects bone density. Bazedoxifene was rejected by the FDA in 2009 because of concerns that it could cause clots and strokes. It is combined with a mixture of estrogen including Premarin which is extracted from the urine of pregnant horses. The health label of Premarin warns users of the increased risk of uterine cancer and dementia. There are side effects of the drug including: nausea, muscle spasms, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
The intention of this drug is to help women going through menopause, but it could potentially do more damage than good. Premarin increases the risk of endometrial cancer, and coincidentally, statistics show that one in every 38 women will be diagnosed with uterine cancer and most of these women are between ages 50-69 (cancer.org). It's partner drug, bazedoxifene, was delayed to be approved for its risk of causing blood clots. Coincidentally, statistics also show that uterine cancer is mostly caused by sarcoma (cancer.org), which are malignant tumors made of cancerous bone, fat, vascular, or hematopoietic tissue. Duavee, containing both Premarine and bazedoxifene, could help women going through menopause but could cause more post-menopausal diseases such as uterine cancer, which is much more deadly than hot flashes.
October 4, 2013