To this day, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly has never accepted responsibility nor apologized for the DES tragedy, even though the company has paid millions in out-of-court settlements and verdicts to DES Daughters and Sons who suffered injuries from their exposure. In fact Eli Lilly made billions of dollars off of DES, a drug they heavily marketed that was of "no benefit" to its users, spans 3 generations, and in fact caused great harm to millions of innocent people.
It is time for Eli Lilly to make a formal apology for this human tragedy. Eli Lilly also needs to follow through on their (good-faith) promise to settle the remaining cancer cases of DES daughters who have suffered from breast cancer as a result of DES exposure, establish a DES Fund to take care of DES victims future health needs, and educate physicians on the long term side effects of DES exposure.
According to the DES Cancer Network over 10 million women were exposed to the synthetic estrogen drug Diethylstilbestrol (DES) between 1941 and 1971. That includes baby boomer men and women and GEN X up until the mid 80's in other countries around the world.
Studies have shown that fetuses exposed to DES in utero have an increased risk of reproductive abnormailities ("hooded cervix" "incompetent cervix" "T-shaped uterus" and "structural abnormalities in men and women"), a rare form of vaginal and cervical cancer, breast cancer after the age of 40, premature labor or infertility, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and autoimmune disease.
Similar to the book Eli Lilly published years ago to educate physicians on the "benefits" of prescribing DES to their patients, the Company now needs to publish a book to educate physicians on the side effects associated with being exposed to DES in order to properly care for their DES exposed patients. In addition, Eli Lilly needs to conduct an ongoing public campaign in an effort to reach out to women and men exposed to DES so they can be proactive in advocating for their future health.
We the undersigned have been affected in some damaging or harmful way by DES exposure or know of someone who has. Eli Lilly actively promoted and distributed DES for more than three decades, even after learning it did not prevent miscarriage or prevent"accidents of pregnancy."
Eli Lilly "failed to warn, failed to test, and failed to publish the truth" about the risks associated with taking DES. We are doctors, family, friends, or concerned citizens who demand that Eli Lilly do the right, moral, and responsible thing by honoring the victims of DES exposure.
February 28, 2013
Ms. Patricia Inness Royall 4 Myrtle Street Richmond, ME 04537
Mr. John Lechleiter, CEO Eli Lilly & Company 893 South Delaware St. Indianapolis, IN 46285
Dear Mr. Lechleiter:
To this day, Eli Lilly has never accepted responsibility nor apologized for the diethylstilbestrol (DES) tragedy, even though the company has paid millions in out-of-court settlements and verdicts to DES daughters and sons who suffered injuries from their exposure over the last forty years.
I am a DES daughter who has had to face numerous health issues including breast cancer as a result of my exposure to DES. I am also one of the plaintiffs in the DES breast cancer cases in Boston. As you know, after the Fecho sisters’ case settled in January at trial, Lilly has failed to settle the remaining breast cancer cases. It has now been more than a year since Judge Marianne Bowler instructed Eli Lilly to mediate in good-faith and settle the remaining cases in this litigation with “all due dispatch”. To date Lilly has neither honored their agreement to mediate in good-faith, nor complied with the Judge’s orders, even after the plaintiffs won the Daubert hearing and proved their cases were meritorious. Instead, Lilly has chosen to pay untold millions to lawyers to drag aging and dying DES daughters with cancer and their families through years of unnecessary litigation.
Not content to just sit by and wait, I created a petition directed to you and Eli Lilly.The petition has been signed by over 1,000 people from 44 countries/provinces and 43 states. Many signers have included their thoughts and feelings in the “Comments” section. We DES daughters have lost our babies, our health, and our lives to this drug. The signers include mothers, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, husbands, grandparents, friends, and physicians all adversely affected in some way by DES exposure. Collectively, the human suffering Lilly has caused is immeasurable.
Essentially the petition asks that Eli Lilly:
1. Make a formal apology for the DES drug disaster.
2. Follow through on Lilly’s “good-faith” promise to settle the remaining cancer cases of DES Daughters who have suffered from breast cancer as a result of DES exposure.
3. Conduct an ongoing public campaign in an effort to reach out to women and men exposed to DES so they can be proactive in advocating for their future health.
4. Establish a global DES Fund to help the DES exposed deal with future health issues as a result of their exposure and to support DES research.
5. Similar to the book Eli Lilly published years ago to educate physicians on the “benefits” of prescribing DES to their patients, the Company now needs to publish a book and Dear Doctor letters to educate physicians on the side effects associated with being exposed to DES in order to properly care for their DES exposed patients.
Giving up or giving in is not an option for the DES-exposed victims and we will continue to prevail. We ask you to please honor your “good-faith” promise, take responsibility, and be a good corporate citizen.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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