• Follow The Money

    by Dr. Susan Sklar
    on Oct 3rd, 2014

We all remember Kim Cattrall as the funny, somewhat sarcastic and sophisticated Samantha in Sex and the City on TV. One episode was about her perimenopause symptoms and bioidentical hormones. This was way ahead of its time, when people didn’t talk about menopause publicly, let alone on television.

Now Kim Cattrall has become a spokeswoman for menopause again. The 58-year-old actress is on an endeavor with Pfizer to encourage women to “tune into their bodies and embrace menopause” with Tune in to Menopause. Why would they join together? It’s not for altruism or education of the general public.

There are an estimated 6,000 women a day entering menopause and 80% of them have hot flashes. This is a huge market. Pfizer is a pharmaceutical giant who manufactures Premarin, a hormone treatment derived from pregnant horse’s urine. This product has risks for women because of its blood clotting potential, resulting in increased blood clots, heart attacks and strokes. Pfizer sales dipped precipitously after these results were released for the Women’s Health Initiative in 2002.

Now Pfizer, along with a popular television star are promoting a new twist on Premarin, called Duavee. It’s the same old Premarin combined with a newer synthetic hormone. It has the same risks of blood clotting as the old formulation, but Pfizer stocks have already increased in value with the recent approval of this drug by the Food and Drug Administration.

We know that the public needs education about menopause and we know that hormones can be used safely. Just don’t count on pharmaceutical companies or TV stars to do it.

Author Dr. Susan Sklar

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