F A Q S
Question: Who makes Premarin®, Prempro® and Duavee®?
Answer: Pfizer, the self-proclaimed largest research-based pharmaceutical company in the world.
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals first manufactured and produced the Premarin® family of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs for the treatment of menopausal symptoms in women.
Wyeth were bought out in 2009 by Pfizer. Wyeth are now a Division of Pfizer.
The history of these drugs goes back much further. Learn more at our Premarin Timeline »
Question: What are PMUs?
Answer: Drugs made from estrogens extracted from the urine of pregnant mares was named Premarin by its originator.
Premarin stands for Pre(gnant) Mar(e's) (Ur)in(e)
Horses used for the making of this family of drugs are commonly referred to as PMU's or PMU horses.
The most commonly recognized names of drugs made with conjugated equine estrogens (CEE), or estrogens extracted from pregnant mare's urine, are Premarin®, Prempro® and Premphase®.
Pfizer have now added the following to its Premarin family of drugs, namely Duavee® in North America and Duavive in Europe.
Question: How are these drugs made?
Answer: Mares are kept in continuous cycles of pregnancy until they can no longer get in foal.
While pregnant, mares are kept standing in stalls so small they are often unable to make but a single step in any direction, turn around or lie down. These restrictions are in place for obvious reasons, but most importantly so the collection cup will stay in place.
The pregnant mare's urine is collected in this manner until shortly before they are ready to foal.
The only time these pregnant maes are free from their approximately 10-month long daily ordeal is when they are taken offline to give birth. Shortly thereafter they are impregnated again for another cycle.
According to ranchers, although the average lifespan is for these breed types is 24, mares who do not survive the "pee line" live to be around 8 years old.
Question: What happens to the mares when they can no longer get pregnant?
Answer: When used up, PMU mares are typically sent to livestock auctions where — except for the small percentage who are purchased by individuals or taken in by a horse rescue or sanctuary — are bought by the meat man acting on behalf of slaughterhouses.
Nearly every foal produced ends their days in the same horrific way.
A number of these foals are shipped live to countries like Japan where they are killed for their highly prized tender tender young meat for the making of sushi dishes (called basashi).
Starting with the introduction of Premarin® in the 1950's, it is estimated 1 million+ innocent foals have been martyred for the production of this sinister family of drugs.
Question: Are Drugs Like Premarin® and Prempro® safe?
Answer: Premarin® and Prempro® are proven to cause or enhance the development of various cancers in the breast and ovaries, among other life threatening diseases such as blood clots. Inevitably, lawsuits followed.
Wyeth have settled a large percentage of them, with sealed judgments so the public cannot know the extent of damages proved or amounts paid out.
As word spread, the market began to downsize significantly, although reports said at the time that Wyeth had drums and drums of pregnant mare's urine in storage to continue to sell the drugs.
Duavee® — a sort of replacement drug almost identical to Premarin — was approved during the federal government shutdown in October 2013.
Duavee® is being marketed to U.S. doctors who are prescribing it about 4,000 times per month according to online sources.
Duavee® has now been approved for sale in Europe under the name Duavive. This is an ominous start with dire, far-reaching consequences for women and the mares and their foals.
Question: So, are Premarin® and Prempro® still sold?
Answer: Although some women refused to take Premarin® and Prempro® because of cruelty to horses, it was the threat to women's health that ultimately caused the decline in the sales of these drugs.
At the same time the sales declined PMU ranches in North America began closing. This resulted in a decline in activism against the PMU industry with the exception of the Int'l Fund for Horses who refused to neglect the interests of these vulnerable mares and foals.
Sales became noticeably brisk again, especially with the advent of online marketing where people can buy Premarin® and Prempro® easily, cheaply and without a prescription.
The increase in sales of Premarin® and Prempro® did not herald the re-opening PMU ranches in North America.
Instead, Pfizer/Wyeth had been busy setting up contracts with countries such as China, Kazakhstan and Poland for the supply of extracted estrogens from pregnant mares to use in the production of their menopause drugs.
In China and Kazakhstan horse slaughter and the human consumption of horse meat is an accepted norm. Conveniently, animal advocacy is virtually nil. Poland has a large live horse export to slaughter market.
Question: What can women do?
Answer: Don't Take It Any More . . . Or Ever Start!
1. Refuse Premarin®, Prempro® and Duavee® if your doctor tries to prescribe them, and tell them why.
If your doctor tries try to dismiss your reasons for refusing these drugs, stick to your guns.
Doctors are often given financial incentives by pharmaceutical company contractors and salesmen to prescribe certain drugs. Or perhaps the doctor is simply not interested in their origin and what it means.
Considering the serious risks of taking medications made with conjugated equine estrogens, you might want to consider going to another doctor!
2. Take an Alternative
There are other HRT drugs available that are organic, safe and effective for the relief of menopausal symptoms.
A quick search on the internet will give you the information you need to make a decision that is kind to horses, and to women.
3. Spread the Word
Be sure to warn the women in your life. Share this page to raise even more awareness.
4. Make a Donation
Make a donation to our Premstoppers campaign. Every dollar is significant and extremely welcome!
PREMSTOPPERS is a Horse Fund campaign to eliminate drugs made with pregnant mare's urine and its decades old legacy of cruelty and death.