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All Celebrex Ads Ruled "Misleading"

The FDA recently "slapped" AstraZeneca's hands for false and misleading advertising of its controversial statin Crestor. Now, it's Pfizer's turn...

Yesterday, the Feds ordered an "immediate halt" to ALL ads for Celebrex, because AstraZeneca understated the risks of taking the COX-2 inhibitor, overstated the benefits and omitted facts. (Not surprisingly, AstraZeneca had already pulled the ads.)

Among the ads pulled:

  • A 27-minute infomercial including testimonials and statements from health care providers promising dramatic effects and complete pain-free relief.
  • A TV ad that offers arthritis tips, "sponsored by Celebrex," in such a way consumers are led to believe the COX-2 inhibitor is the leading drug of choice.

The "new math" the mega-billion drug companies use to make profits explains why. During the first nine of months of 2004, Pfizer spent $70 million domestically on Celebrex ads. The combined sales of Celebrex and Bextra alone will likely make up 10 percent of the company's revenues for 2004.

Meanwhile, I strongly urge you to read my recent article about the seven ways to protect your heart using anti-inflammatory alternatives.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer January 13, 2005

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