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Hormone replacement therapy

An overview of the risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy.

28 Oct 2008

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is used by a large proportion of women over 50 to relieve the symptoms of the menopause. For the insurance industry the principle concern revolves around the potential for class actions by HRT users against HRT manufacturers and the associated potential for liability under General and Product Liability policies. When HRT emerged in the 1940’s it was used as an effective method to combat the sometimes debilitating symptoms of the menopause that typically affect women aged 50 and over. In the 1960’s popularity of HRT as a treatment boomed and was claimed to additionally reduce the risk of many other diseases. It appeared that manufacturers had developed a wonder drug for women.

However, over time concerns and evidence came to light indicating that the perceived benefits either did not exist or that HRT increased the risk of certain diseases.While there are several related drugs that are similar to HRT, such as the contraceptive pill, this report will limit its focus to the examination of the risks associated with HRT and possible impact to the insurance industry.