Pfizer's New Game Plan to Promote Celebrex

Shortly after Merck's Vioxx was pulled from the consumer market in this country, rival Pifzer announced a bold, but ultimately failed, move to bolster Celebrex's marketshare: A study to determine if the COX-2 inhibitor could prevent heart attacks. Two months later, high doses of Celebrex were found to cause the same problem as Vioxx -- An increased risk of heart attacks for patients taking high doses.

On the heels of last week's FDA meeting that argued the merits of COX-2 inhibitors -- a 32-member panel unanimously agreed Celebrex increases one's risk of stroke and heart attack -- Pfizer has changed their strategy. Now, the pharmaceutical giant will compare "a common dose" of Celebrex with another anti-inflammatory pill to prove that it poses no greater heart risks than similar drugs.

Pfizer's new trial will involve at least 20,000 patients at high risk for heart attacks, and not include those who suffer from acute coronary syndrome. Although many observers believe the trial will probably compare Celebrex to naproxen, ibuprofen and diclofenac may also be considered.

Due to all the bad press generated by last week's FDA meeting, one stock analyst speculates Celebrex sales could topple by almost half, to a measly $1.75 billion.

Just more incentive for you to treat your pain in safer, healthier ways. Here's how:

Forbes.com February 23, 2005

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