Thursday 10 January 2013

US Victory/Australian DES Mess

From USA this week comes the welcomed news of the successful legal settlement by four sisters who sued drug company Eli Lilly, claiming their breast cancer was caused by their exposure to DES in the womb. The Melnick sisters' case was the first to go to trial out of scores of similar claims filed around US.

This legal breakthrough highlights the mess in Australian DES health care, where thousands of Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer are oblivious to the fact of having been DES exposed. Adding insult to injury, the 2009 Breastscreen Evaluation Report stated DES daughters do not need extra screening, when we know they need annual mammography according to Cancer Council NSW and RANZCOG advice. At the very core of this DES mess is the Australian government's refusal to promote DES information in public health programs, thus denying the prospects of Australians ever knowing the possibility of having been exposed to the drug.

Today the publication for doctors, Medical Observer reported about the legal trial's success, but failed to address breast health care advice for DES daughters. Our NSW DES Action group  has written to the Federal Health Minister today requesting her prompt investigation into this terrible discrepancy in breast health care advice for DES daughters. Our group has sent media releases about the successful trial and our urgent matter to major newspapers across Australia.Now we just wait for the Australian media to wake up and see the seriousness of our DES mess.



Dear Carol:

My name is Patricia Royall and I am a DES daughter from the US. Just wanted to thank you for posting our petition and gathering additional signatures. You are awesome!

Be well. Patricia

Sue said...

What fantastic news. My wish is to see some action for DES offspring purely from the difficulties with the effects on our reproductive system. I have had 3 pregnancies - 1 ectopic and 2 beautiful boys who were unable to survive as I was only able to get to 20 weeks with each of them. I am still dealing with the effects of the traumas that I was exposed to. In addition, we all experience additional medical expenses with yearly follow ups and in my instance surgery for further investigation of changes found. I have a letter from my mother's doctor stating that she was prescribed DES. Let's start putting pressure on the Australian legal system to back us here without the requirement of knowing which drug company produced the medication. Cheers Sue Punshon