Pfizer launches smoking cessation drug Champix in India

Pfizer's Chantix comes to India as Champix - better read up on those side effects.

9 April, 2008

Champix anti smoking

Pfizer has announced the launch of Champix, a non-nicotine prescription drug for smoking cessation, in India. Champix is sold in the US as Chantix.

Champix or varenicline is a prescription drug that reduces nicotine craving and suppresses the pleasure of smoking. Pfizer has said that research shows that with Champix the odds of quitting smoking are twice that of buproprion and four times that of placebo.

Pfizer has announced a ‘champs club’ support program that, along with Champix, will help smokers quit.

Kewal Handa, managing director of Pfizer India, said,“Champix is the most innovative and effective oral smoking cessation product to be approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the last 10 years. It has benefited over 5.7 million people since its worldwide launch in mid-2006. We are confident that Champix will provide the same level of benefits to smokers in India and contribute to a healthier world.”

According to Pfizer, the results of two international studies have shown that 44% of smokers with Champix has quit smoking by the end of the 12-week treatment. “This may be compared with the annual 2% of Indian smokers who are otherwise able to quit smoking on their own,” Dr Anjan Chatterjee, medical director of Pfizer India, was quoted by expresspharmaonline.com as claiming.

In order to support smokers who wish to quit smoking, “Pfizer will partner with smoking cessation clinics across India where smokers can seek counselling support, educational information about ill effects of smoking, tips and medical support to help them overcome their addiction.”

The website quoted Dr Sanjeev Mehta, consultant chest physician at Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai, as saying: “The latest data reveals that, by 2010, one million Indians will die due to smoking-related diseases. Thus, the irony is that smoking is the single largest cause of preventable death in the country.”

A report from the World Health Organisation on the global tobacco epidemic, added Dr Sanjeev Mehta, shows that an increasing shift of smoking addiction from the Western world to developing countries.

However, the website whyquit.com claims that the United States Food and Drug Administration has released a video clip containing “a Chantix safety warning about serious neuropsychiatric problems in users, including suicide.”

A report in whyquit.com says, “The drug varenicline is marketed as Chantix in the United States and as Champix in the rest of the world. Never in history has any quitting product produced such horrific side-effects stories as are being played out among Chantix users.”





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