Sisters Sue Drug Maker Over Cancer-Causing Drug

- January 04, 2013

Attorneys began the jury selection process on Friday in a civil case filed against a drug manufacturer by four sisters in Boston, who claim they all developed breast cancer because of a miscarriage-prevention drug prescribed to their mother during her pregnancies.

The sisters are suing Eli Lilly, manufacturer of the drug diethylstilbestrol (DES), which was commonly prescribed to pregnant mothers to prevent miscarriage, claiming they all contracted breast cancer because their mother ingested the drug while she was pregnant with them.

A fifth sister, who claims their mother did not take DES while pregnant with her, did not develop breast cancer.

The drug, which doctors began prescribing to pregnant women in the 1930s, was pulled from the market in 1971 after it was linked to a rare type of vaginal cancer.

The drug maker is claiming that the women have no evidence which links their illnesses with DES usage by their mother.

More than 50 similar cases are pending against Eli Lilly in federal court in Boston.

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