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Mixed Messages in New Celebrex Ads

As long as there are health-harming drugs with toxic track records like Celebrex still on the market, the mega-pharmaceuticals will be forced to use magical "slight of hand" to promote them. Case in point are the newest direct-to-consumer (DTC) drug ads currently running in magazines touting the "virtues" of the sole COX-2 inhibitor left on the market.

The top of these ads show a man walking up stadium steps with the caption, "52 steps won't keep you from taking him out to the ballgame." And it includes a warning marked in bold that tells patients, "Celebrex may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke that can lead to death.

The ads plus the warnings may be a risk drug companies are willing to take, according to Public Citizen, as they depend on them to generate sales. Here's why: Last year, when Pfizer put a stop to DTC ads, Celebrex sales fell by nearly half to $1.7 billion. In 2004, the drugmaker invested $117 million in DTC ads for the same COX-2 inhibitor, making $3.3 billion.

One of the many benefits of my Web site is providing you enough information so you can separate fact -- Celebrex more than doubles your risk of heart attack -- from fiction -- Celebrex protects patients from colon cancer.

To treat your pain safely and without harming your heart, I urge you to review my list of seven anti-inflammatory alternatives.

New York Times April 28, 2006 Registration Required

Spartanburg Herald-Journal April 29, 2006

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