The truth behind one of today’s most widely prescribed drugs will shock you. Get the facts and get involved.
What Is Premarin®?
Premarin®, a drug derived from pregnant mares’ urine (PMU), is prescribed to alleviate symptoms of menopause and to prevent osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. The estrogen-rich urine used in its production is collected from mares confined in barns on PMU ranches in Canada and the United States. Despite the availability of humane alternatives, including lifestyle changes and plant-derived or synthetic medicines, Premarin, PremPro, PremPak and PremPhase are widely prescribed in America. Women, doctors and the general public must be made aware of the unnecessary stress and pain inflicted on horses in the manufacture of these drugs, and of the alternatives from nonanimal sources that exist.
How Do Horses Suffer in the Production of Premarin®?
The Premarin industry is self-regulated through manufacturer Pfizer’s Code of Practice, but there are more than 70 farms and no outside scrutiny. Mares used in the production of conjugated estrogens are at risk for abrasions, leg swelling, excessive boredom, stress, and an early death, due to the conditions under which they are kept. The mares are:
- strapped to urine collection bags six months a year;
- tied in narrow stalls that do not allow them to turn around or lie down flat;
- denied free, continual access to water, and
- exercised, if at all, according to the rancher’s assessment of how much each mare needs, because there is no minimum in the Code of Practice.
Mares are also kept in production, foaling every year, for eight to nine years. When no longer able to reproduce, they are sold for slaughter. Under normal circumstances, a domestic equine will live 20 to 25 years.
What Happens to the Foals Who Are Born?
Every year, thousands of foals who are born as “by-products” of this industry are sent to auction. Many of them eventually end up in slaughterhouses, where they are sold to meat markets in Europe and Japan. Click here for more information on sponsoring or adopting a rescued foal.
Are There Any Alternatives to Premarin®?
Lifestyle changes, such as exercise and a better diet, can be effective in maintaining health and lowering the health risks associated with menopause. There are FDA-approved plant-derived and synthetic medications that have the same effect as Premarin. Hormone replacement therapy has its own risks. Recent studies show that long term use of PremPro increases the risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, blood clots and strokes. Women should consult with their doctors about all the treatments available in order to make an informed, safe, effective and ethical choice.
What Can I do to Help?
- Share this information with doctors and friends.
- Respectfully voice your protest to the maker of PMU-derived conjugated estrogens:
Ian Read, President
235 East 42nd Street
NY, NY 10017