Were Bad Celebrex Results Swept Under the Rug?

Did Pfizer knowingly conceal a study that casts its controversial COX-2 inhibitor Celebrex in an unfavorable light? The Public Citizen's Health Research Group (PCHRG) seems to think so. They accused the pharmaceutical giant yesterday of hiding a study that found patients were more likely -- 3.5 times in fact -- to suffer from a stroke, heart attack or other cardiovascular problems.

Sidney Wolfe of the PCHRG notified the FDA that his group, not so surprisingly, had found the lost study last week after his group petitioned the agency to ban Celebrex and Bextra, the remaining COX-2 inhibitors available domestically. However, he found it on a Web site run by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA).

Pfizer claims it didn't hide the study, and that it was presented five years ago at a meeting and sent to the FDA the following year. But the study of some 400 Alzheimer's patients in which Celebrex was never submitted to a medical journal for review either. Moreover, Wolfe was skeptical of the study posted on the PhRMA site, because the point of randomized trials is to eliminate patient differences that could affect the results.

With all this evidence piling up, it makes me feel, one day in the not-too-distant future, these COX-2 inhibitors could be off the market entirely, not that people ever really needed them to relieve their pain. If you're having problems with pain, I urge you to review one of my more popular articles on the seven safe ways to protect your heart with natural alternatives.

Yahoo News January 31, 2005

USA Today February 1, 2005

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