Estriol: Congress Agrees We Have a Right to Use this Hormone

estriolYOU SPOKE UP, SOMEBODY IN CONGRESS LISTENED

A few brave representatives in congress stood up to the FDA and Wyeth’s bully tactics in taking away our right to use estriol for bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT).

Estriol is a wonderfully safe and effective estrogen option, especially for hot flashes and vaginal dryness. It's been widely used in Europe for decades. Research shows that it may help prevent breast cancer, and it helps maintain bone density, although not as much as estradiol does.

MESSAGE TO WYETH and FDA from CONGRESS

  • Whereas menopause is often a challenging transition for millions of women that requires specialized medications and medical treatments;
  • Whereas physicians prescribe a variety of pharmaceutical treatment options to treat women experiencing the symptoms of menopause;
  • Whereas individual women respond differently to different treatment options;
  • Whereas women's physicians determine on a case-by-case basis which treatment option is optimal for each woman;
  • Whereas many physicians prescribe compounded estrogen and other bioidentical hormone treatments for patients for a variety of reasons;
  • Whereas many physicians prescribe compounded estrogen treatments that contain estriol to treat menopausal and perimenopausal women;
  • Whereas estriol is one of three estrogens produced by the human body;
  • Whereas estriol has been prescribed and used for decades in the United States;
  • Whereas Congress has long recognized active pharmaceutical ingredients meeting standards set by the United States Pharmacopeia as permissible options for physician prescribing and pharmacy compounding;
  • Whereas the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it will no longer permit compounding pharmacists to prepare medications containing estriol pursuant to a doctor's prescription;
  • Whereas insurers are now denying women reimbursement for compounded medications containing estriol as a result of the FDA's announcement; and

Whereas the FDA has acknowledged that it is unaware of any adverse events associated with use of compounded medications containing estriol: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of the Congress that--

  • physicians are in the best position to determine which medications are most appropriate for their patients;

  • the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should respect the physician-patient relationship; and
  • the FDA should reverse its policy that aims to eliminate patients' access to compounded medications containing estriol that their physicians prescribe for them."

In response to the outpouring of protest from thousands of women across America whose right to use estriol has been taken away, members of the House of Representatives stepped up and introduced a bipartisan Sense of the Congress resolution as follows: “Expressing the sense of Congress that the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) new policy restricting women's access to medications containing estriol does not serve the public interest.” The wording of the resolution is so clearly stated that I've included it in the sidebar to the right. It speaks for itself, and to the thoughtfulness and knowledge of the person(s) who wrote it.

The estriol resolution was introduced by Mike Ross (D-Ark.), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Burgess (R-Texas), John Carter (R-Texas), Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). If your representative is listed here, please write and thank him or her. It takes real political courage to stand up to Wyeth and the FDA. Here’s where you can find out how to call or e-mail your representative.

If your representative is not on this list, please write or call and tell him or her that H. CON. RES. 342 regarding estriol, matters to you, a lot—the resolution still needs to be passed.

This is not just about estriol, it’s about your fundamental right as an American citizen to choose the medicine that you and your doctor decide works best for you, and not have it chosen for you based on the profit motives of giant pharmaceutical companies who care first about profit and second (if at all) about your health and safety.

You can contact your elected representative with an automatically sent, pre-written letter, courtesy of the compounding pharmacy organization P2C2: Please Co-sponsor H. Con. Res. 342 If you can personalize it, please do.

For details on estriol's effects on the body, and estriol research, please consider reading:

1) The detailed chapter, Estriol: A Safer Replacement Estrogen in What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Breast Cancer.

2) An article about estriol by Dr. John Lee.