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The Latest Outrageous Drug Company Ads

Pfizer is planning to launch a new TV commercial for its arthritis painkiller Celebrex. There have been no Celebrex commercials for more than two years because of safety concerns about drugs in its class.

The TV commercial is two and a half minutes long -- five times as long as most TV ads. Pfizer also took the unusual tactic of buying all the commercial time on ABC News' World News Tonight program two Mondays in a row.

Pfizer says the unusual length of the commercial is needed to dispel any confusion about the drug. The ad points out that other drugs, such as prescription-strength ibuprofen and naproxen, also pose risks to the stomach, intestines, and cardiovascular system.

Celebrex is COX-2 inhibitor, the same kind of drug as the withdrawn painkiller Vioxx. Print ads for Celebrex began running again last year.

New York Times April 10, 2007 (Registration Required)

The Ledger April 10, 2007

USA Today April 2, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

According to the FDA, the Vioxx recall was one of the largest drug recalls ever. If you were reading this newsletter during the last century you would be aware that seven years ago I posted warnings about Vioxx; this was actually BEFORE it was even on the market. Unfortunately, most ignored or did not believe the warning as nearly 100 million worldwide took this drug.

What you get when you subscribe to this newsletter is information that is YEARS ahead of its time -- that can literally save your life. There are many other drugs that could easily kill you, just like Vioxx killed 60,000 people.

More than two years after pulling Celebrex ads from the airwaves, Pfizer evidently believes the dust has settled long enough for consumers to have forgotten about the heart-stopping problems associated with Celebrex. Celebrex more than doubles your risk of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and death.

I'm not surprised that this extraordinarily long ad takes a slanted approach, comparing the drug favorably with over-the-counter pain relievers like naproxen or ibuprofen, both problematic on their own. Instead of taking any of these deadly drugs, I strongly urge you to read my article about the seven ways to protect your heart using anti-inflammatory alternatives for some tips to relieve chronic pain and inflammation.

Will the FDA actually pay attention to a letter sent out by Public Citizen, asking commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach to ban the ad on the grounds that it could lead patients to underestimate the many risks of Celebrex? Unfortunately, thanks to massive control by drug companies of the U.S. Congress via lobbying, I don't expect much to change in the short term.

The market for analgesics is over $10 BILLION per year. That is one big number. That is why these are important drugs to watch. It is important to remember that any time you are dealing with numbers that large there will inevitably be corruption, greed and negative influences that are a part of the story if drugs are involved.

Just a reminder, drug ads are illegal in every country in the world, except for America and New Zealand.

So what is the message?

Take Control of Your Health and don't be fooled by the drug companies. Start embracing natural lifestyle options so you won't have to rely on expensive and potentially dangerous drugs

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