Lawsuits concerning a menopause hormone treatment linked to cancer were allowed to proceed by the US Supreme Court that rejected an appeal by US pharmaceutical firm Wyeth.
Without giving details, the highest US court ruled in favor of 123 plaintiffs who say they suffered serious side effects after taking a hormone therapy intended to ameliorate the symptoms of menopause.
Several studies have linked certain hormone replacement treatments to increased rates of cancer and other serious illnesses.
A major 2002 study said the therapy increased patients' risk of both breast cancer and cardiac problems, contrary to information that was provided about the drug.
Another US study, published in 2009, found the treatment could also increase the risk of lung cancer.
Between 2005 and 2006, a drop-off in the number of prescriptions being written for the hormone treatments was accompanied in both France and the United States by a reduction in the incidence of breast cancer.