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U.S. FDA approves drug for menopause symptoms

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U.S. health regulators approved Pfizer Inc's menopause drug Duavee, which the company hopes will reduce hot flashes with fewer side effects than older hormone-replacement therapies.

The Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday it approved the drug to treat women with moderate to severe menopause symptoms and to prevent post-menopausal osteoporosis, a bone disease which can increase the risk of fractures.

The drug, which Pfizer is developing with Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc, combines bazedoxifene - which belongs to a class of drugs known as selective estrogen receptor modulators, or SERMS - and conjugated estrogens, which are derived from the urine of pregnant horses and contained in Pfizer's menopause drug Premarin.