In an extraordinary act of damage limitation, one HRT manufacturer has told several thousand German gynaecologists that the Women's Health Initiative findings are of 'highly limited relevance' to German women.
The gynaecologists received this strange piece of information from a fax sent by Prof Alexander Teichmann, based in a clinic in southern Germany. The fax also included an information sheet for doctors to copy and hand out to patients.
When suspicious doctors traced the fax back, they discovered it had been sent from two German drug companies that sell HRT. Prof Teichmann later denied sending the leaflet, or even agreeing to its contents.
Finally, Schering, a drug company that manufactures HRT, admitted sending out the fax without the knowledge of Prof Teichmann. Schering said it 'regretted the misunderstanding'.
(Source: British Medical Journal, 2003; 326: 1161).