What’s in that pill? A call to end the production and use of PMU products in North America Jill Garvey My purpose today: • What is PMU? • What is PMU used for? • How is PMU produced? • What are the negative effects of PMU and PMU products? • What are the alternatives? • What can I do? What is PMU? URINE Pregnant Mare Urine Pregnant Mare Urine What are PMU products used for? • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – Endogenous estrogen levels fall or disappear in postmenopausal women – 22 million women worldwide using HRT Why use mare urine? • More available than pregnant woman’s urine • Easier to disguise bad odor/taste • Longer biological effectiveness • Larger quantity from each animal How is PMU produced? • PMU ranches – Located in South Dakota, Saskatchewan and Manitoba – Represented by NAERIC – Contracted to Wyeth-Ayerst PMU ranching • Pasture-bred in spring • Weaned at 3-6 months • Moved into production PMU Production • Stalls 4-5 feet wide • Composed of a collection tube, hose and suspension hoses What does PMU go into? • The most well-known product is Premarin, closely followed by Prempro – Made by Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals – Oral pill or topical ointment • Other products – Oral – Gel – Patch – Nasal spray – creams Who is affected by this industry? • Everyone • PMU ranchers • Pharmaceutical companies • Women using PMU based HRT • Medical professionals Why is PMU production and use a problem? • Animal Welfare concerns – Mare quality of life – All those foals? The mare Space Exercise Water availability Lameness Overall comfort Space Water Availability Exercise Lameness The ‘other’ product • 15000-20000 foals produced • Quality of breeding? • Foals go to: – Slaughter – Rescue groups – ??? But what else? • Human health concerns reported by: – Women’s Health Iniative – Mayo Clinic – Harvard Medical School Human Health Risks • Women’s Health Initiative – Increased risk of: • Breast cancer • Heart disease • Stroke • Deep vein thrombosis • Pulmonary embolism Alternatives • Healthy lifestyle choices • Herbal remedies • Bio-identical hormones Lifestyle • Mayo Clinic recommendation – Improve lifestyle before using meds • Nutritious diet (high fiber, low fat) • Regular exercise • Don’t smoke • Avoid excess alcohol • Supplement body with vitamins and calcium Herbal remedies • Not medically sanctioned – Option for women who prefer ‘natural remedies’ Black Cohosh Wild Yam Blend Licorice root Bio-identical Hormones • Fastest growing HRT field – Synthetically formed to be identical to endogenous hormones – FDA approved • Over a dozen FDA approved options – Some small studies show improved safety • Can’t be patented=no profit=little interest in large studies Legal action • Class action lawsuits – Nevada – Arkansas – Pennsylvania – California • Wyeth lost • Paid each claimant $500K- $1.5M Time to move on… From this To This What can you do? • Write • Educate • Boycott Questions?
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