Four sisters, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, are suing pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, alleging that a pregnancy drug their mother took while pregnant with them is responsible for their cancer.
Eli Lilly was one of many pharmaceutical companies that manufactured or marketed DES, or diethylstilbestrol, from the 1930’s to the early 1970’s. The synthetic estrogen was prescribed to millions of women to prevent premature birth, miscarriages, and other pregnancy-related problems.
The drug was pulled from the market in the early 70’s after a study showed that there was an increased risk of a rare vaginal cancer in the daughters of women who had taken DES during pregnancy. Thousands of pharmaceutical lawsuits were filed in connection with cervical cancer and fertility problems allegedly linked with the drug.
The sisters thought it was a coincidence when two of them were diagnosed with breast cancer at the same time; however, when two other sisters were also diagnosed with breast cancer, their thoughts turned from coincidence to link, and they decided to bring a lawsuit against Eli Lily. They were diagnosed between 1997 and 2003.
The sisters’ attorney points to a study published in 2011 that suggests the risk of developing breast cancer nearly doubles in DES daughters over 40. The study also indicated that daughters 55 and over had a one in 25 chance of developing breast cancer. The national average is one in 50.
The first sister diagnosed told The Huffington Post she hopes the upcoming trial will prompt more daughters to ask if their mothers if they took DES. “If a woman – a DES daughter – knew this, she could get earlier screening,” she told the Post.
If you believe you have been injured by the harmful side effects of DES or any other drug, the pharmaceutical liability attorneys at Farah & Farah in Florida would like to talk to you. You may be entitled to compensation for damages. Contact us online or call us toll-free at (800) 533-3555.