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A Philadelphia judge said that a punitive damages award of $6 million in a hormone-replacement therapy case was supported by drugmaker Wyeth’s public relations campaign to ‘"dismiss and distract physicians’" from the increased risk of breast cancer allegedly posed by HRT drugs.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Mark I. Bernstein, the presiding judge in Singleton v. Wyeth , wrote in his June 30 opinion that the jury verdict affirmed that the plaintiffs proved that Wyeth, now owned by Pfizer, negligently provided inadequate warnings about the risk of breast cancer from taking Prempro, that Wyeth did not conduct the appropriate breast cancer studies and that Wyeth actively tried to ensure that breast cancer data remained cloaked from health care providers.

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