Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Chantix No Better Than Nicotine Patches Except When It Comes to Suicide Rates

Chantix No Better Than Nicotine Patches Except When It Comes to Suicide Rates | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

In disappointing news for Pfizer, a study found that its controversial Chantix pill for quitting smoking failed to show any benefit over nicotine patches and lozenges among people trying to kick their habit.


Although the study did not question the effectiveness of the product, the findings may represent another hurdle in the quest to transform Chantix into a blockbuster seller. Ever since it was approved a decade ago, Chantix has been dogged by safety concerns, lawsuits, and languishing sales.


The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, compared three approaches to quitting smoking in which 1,086 patients either used a nicotine patch, the Chantix pill, or a combination of a patch and nicotine lozenge.


The findings, which relied on lab tests to gauge carbon monoxide levels, did not find any statistically significant differences between the products at either six months or one year. At six months, for instance, the quit rate was 23 percent for the patch; 24 percent for Chantix; and 27 percent for a patch and lozenges. And at one year, the quit rate was 21 percent, 19 percent, and 20 percent, respectively.

Pharma Guy's insight:

I was wondering why I'm seeing more Chantix ads on TV after a lull. I guess Pfizer was trying to get as many new Rx's as possible before these data came out. For more information about Chantix and suicide, read "Consumer Groups Petition FDA to Keep Black Box Warning for Pfizer’s Chantix"; http://sco.lt/76uiDx 

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Rob Schneider Links Robin Williams Suicide To Parkinson's Drugs

Rob Schneider Links Robin Williams Suicide To Parkinson's Drugs | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Comedian Rob Schneider made a controversial statement about Robin Williams' death, suggesting the actor's suicide could be linked to medication taken to treat Parkinson's disease.

Pharma Guy's insight:


A couple of Schneider's tweets:


"Now that we can talk about it. #RobinWilliams was on a drug treating the symptoms of Parkinson's. One of the SIDE-EFFECTS IS SUICIDE!"


"The Evil pharmaceutical industry ADMITS TO OVER 100,000 people in the USA DIE A YEAR FROM "PRESCRIPTION" DRUGS!!"


Follow-up: 

Doctors Blast Rob Schneider's Parkinson's Drug Twitter Rant

Parkinson's disease experts say Schneider is out of line.

"Suicide is of no more concern in patients with Parkinson's versus those who don't have Parkinson's," said Dr. Irene Richard, a professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center and a science adviser to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

However, some Parkinson's drugs do list an increased risk of suicide as a possible side effect.

For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that patients taking either levodopa or SINEMET, two drugs commonly used to treat Parkinson's, "should be observed carefully for the development of depression with concomitant suicidal tendencies.


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