By Audrey Quinn
Posting in Technology
The company lauded its new arthritis drug med as better for the stomach than competitors, but that was only part of the story.
What do you do if you're trying to sell a product with few benefits over its competitors? You laud its lack of drawbacks. At least that's what Pfizer did in the case of the arthritis medication Celebrex, advertising it as safer for the stomach than the equally effective ibuprofen.
Katie Thomas of The New York Times reports:
The truth was that Celebrex was no better at protecting the stomach from serious complications than other drugs. It appeared that way only because Pfizer and its partner, Pharmacia, presented the results from the first six months of a yearlong study rather than the whole thing.
A long-running securities fraud case against Pfizer recently opened up thousands of the company's internal documents. The portfolio shows the company's strategic distortion of research into Celebrex side effects. It includes a research chief's email boast to a colleague, "They swallowed our story, hook, line and sinker," after a research conference discussed Celebrex's gentler effects on the stomach than comparable drugs.
Celebrex is one of Pfizer's top selling drugs. It has brought them over $2.5 billion in sales, and 2.4 million patients in the U.S. in 2011 alone. It's also the last COX-2 inhibitor pain drug still on the market, after the removal of Vioxx and Bextra in 2004 and 2005 due to evidence of heart risks.
Pfizer has yet to complete a now six-year-old study regarding Celebrex's heart risks.
The company defends its choice to only release partial results from the drug's safety studies by arguing that the high number of patients who have take it - 33 million Americans - proves its worth and safety.
The fact that Pfizer only partially revealed findings from the Celebrex stomach safety study was already known, the FDA revealed the full results of the study in 2001 and the unveiled discrepancies lead to a lawsuit in 2003. But these newly released documents are the first to show how calculatingly the company planned their data distortion.
Lawyers for Pfizer declined comments to the Times. A press release from the company retains confidence that it is in the right in regards to the way it presented Celebrex to consumers.
[via The New York Times]
Jun 25, 2012
No one seems to get it. The only thing all of these company's are out for is to make money. One hand washes the other! They talk about America having the best healthcare in the world? It's only because they make more money then anywhere else in the world. They could give a damn about the people that actually use doctors and medications. They could care less if all of us keel over and die from their poisons. All medications have toxins in them that our body's can't get rid of. So what happens? those toxins turn into cancer and other illnesses causing us to take more drugs to counteract what the previous drugs caused. Sound like a merry-go-round? well it is!!! and all these company's just go merrily on their way paying 6 figure salaries to their CEO's laughing all the way to the bank. Do I sound crazy? If so I challenge anyone that reads this to do your own research. Pick a prescription drug, any drug, look at whats in it. Then take one of those ingredients and find out what happens to it once consumed. Most of these drugs contain some sort of plastic which sits in your body till the day you die.
I never go to my doctor anymore asking for pain killers prescription and then be turned down at the end, all I do is order online from www.medsheaven.com hassle free and low cost, they have three pain killers listed on their website which are ultram tramadol celebrex that you buy, and the best part is no prescription required!!! http://www.allpharmacylist.com/pain-relievers/celebrex
What ever happened to the old, " We Charge a Fortune for Drugs because of all of the Very High Cost of Research and Development !!! ?
The FDA response should be that it only gave partial approval and ban the drug from use, since it also should have the right to give the company only a partial answer because that is what they say was correct in their claim. PS - Also should fine them big!
I am a health care provider and use Celebrex. I have had no problems with this medication, and it works conciderably better than ibuprofen. Many medications have the potention of causing fatal reactions, both prescription and over the counter medications, includion homeopathic medications. Like every thing you buy, read the warnings. There is no such thing as a "safe medication". Allergic reastions are common, but there are many other types of reactions. They may be rare, but many can also kill you.
The cox 2 inhibitors were a moneymaking scam for big pharma from the start. I am an anesthesiologist who had to put up with the miniskirted drug reps we called "drug sluts" for years promoting these drugs for our OR patients as superior pain relief which of course were studies paid for by the companies. When independent anesthesiology research showed them equivalent to for example, off patent Ibuprofen, the reps bought shorter skirts and spent even more lavishly on meals, ball point pens and trips. Keep in mind that there is rarely independent research on drugs or chemicals used on us, our plants or pets. Independent governmental research is thing of the past. The role of Big drug companies is to flood the market with "new" drugs which are rarely better than an off patent drug and in some cases are just an isomer which they can license as a "new" drug.
All of all claims must be taken with a large grain of salt! Addition of an antinauseant may also be necessary.
Celebrex and chemical Hepatitis When Celebrex first came out, I was billed as a new wonder drug for pain. I was given samples, and took it for several months ??? for my pain. All was well, until my urine turned to mud, and my skin turned yellow. Doctors in the emergency room saw no test that showed a reason for my Hepatitis. At this point Celebrex had nothing written listing such a reaction. But I had developed a chemical Hepatitis, or inflamed liver from it. I went off Celebrex, and my liver rebounded, and my body returned to normal. A while later; all the problems with Celebrex started coming out ??? Surprise, Surprise.
I am one of those 33 million users of Celebrex. I have never experienced any of the terrible side-effects that have been reported. Before Celebrex, Vioxx was my pain-killer of choice. Again, none of the terrible side-effects reported for that drug. Vioxx was slightly more effective for me than Celebrex. Because of the high cost, I started buying generic Celebrex from a Canadian pharmacy online. It seems to work as well as the brand version. So, I not shocked a big corporation lied for more profit - it happens every day. Health care, including drugs, should be a right, not a profit center. My minor protest is to buy generic Celebrex made in India from a Canadian pharmacy.
Rule #1: Don't believe everything you see on big pharma TV commercials. After all, "risks include dizziness, confusion, diarreah, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and premature death." Always read (or listen to) the fine print.
This article is misleading. Based on the timing mentioned, the FDA released the full study data in 2001, meaning the study was likely conducted in the late 1990s. At that time Celebrex was owned by Monsanto, not Pharmacia or Pfizer that this article accuses both of lying. IF lying did occur, it was under Monsanto's watch (not Pharmacia or Pfizer), likely in an attempt to attract big pharma buyers like Pharmacia and Pfizer. This author is purposely manipulating the truth in order to villify big pharma. Aren't you the pot calling the kettle black Katie Thomas?
Quote,,"The company defends its choice to only release partial results from the drug???s safety studies by arguing that the high number of patients who have taken it - 33 million Americans - proves its worth and safety." The people running this company, Should be SHOT ! ( OK, they should be sentenced to say " Im Sorry " and fined $200! )
Stephen I have news for you. I would like you to compare the list of homeopathic doctors that killed anyone with medication compared to regular doctors. I don't think you'll find even half as many law suits against homeopaths as you do MD's Yes any type of chemical can kill you if taken incorrectly. The difference is homeopathic remedies are natural and don't leave potential time bombs in your body like chemically produced ones.
My doctor prescribed celebrex to me shortly after it hit the market, and after 3 days I had to stop taking it. It was giving me severe stomach cramps and diarrhea. And it didn't do jack for the pain either...
when the risks part goes at a staccato speed of a European super fast train and the text mode display appears - if at all - like a subliminal advertising flash card !
Steve, I appreciate your scrutiny here, Big Pharma can indeed be a too easy target for criticism. The cover-up was still on the part of Pfizer though, as you can see from these internal documents from 2000 and 2001: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/06/25/health/25celebrex-document.html?ref=health