New York (ots/PRNewswire) -
- More Than 1.2 Million Europeans Die of Smoking-Related Diseases
Each Year; An Estimated US$500 Billion in Global Health-Related Costs
- Medical Expert: 'Helping smokers quit is one of the most
important things a physician can do to improve their patients'
overall health and reduce the risk of developing serious chronic
Pfizer Inc said today that the Committee for Medicinal Products
for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Evaluation Agency
issued a positive opinion recommending marketing authorization of
Champix(R) (varenicline), a novel pill for the treatment of smoking
The CHMP's positive recommendation will be reviewed by the
European Commission, which has authority to approve medicines for the
European Union. Pfizer anticipates a final decision from the
Commission in the coming months.
Discovered and developed by Pfizer, Champix is a pill specifically
designed as an aid to smoking cessation. Champix is believed to work
by reducing the severity of the smoker's craving and many withdrawal
symptoms from nicotine. Moreover, if a person smokes a cigarette
while receiving treatment, Champix has the potential to diminish the
sense of satisfaction associated with smoking.
"Globally, it is expected that half a billion people alive today
will die from smoking-related causes," said Dr. Joseph Feczko,
Pfizer's chief medical officer. "Champix represents a significant new
discovery in the arena of smoking cessation research. Pfizer is
pleased that the CHMP has recognized the potential therapeutic
benefit of Champix in addressing this serious public health issue."
Smoking, the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, is
responsible for five million deaths worldwide each year. In Europe
alone, more than 1.2 million people die each year from a smoking
related disease. By 2010, the WHO estimates the annual global cost of
tobacco-related illness to be approximately US$500 billion.
"When it comes to smoking, preventive medicine is truly the best
medicine. Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and is the
cause of many diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer and
respiratory disease," said Dr. Serena Tonstad, Champix clinical trial
investigator and head physician, Department of Preventive Cardiology,
Ulleval University Hospital, Norway. "Helping smokers quit is one of
the most important things a physician can do to improve their
patients' overall health and reduce their risk of developing serious
The medication, varenicline, with tradename Chantix(TM)
(varenicline) in the United States, received U.S. Food and Drug
Administration approval as an aid to smoking cessation in May 2006.
In clinical trials, varenicline was generally well tolerated with
overall discontinuation rates similar to placebo. The most frequent
side effects included nausea, headache, trouble sleeping and changes
US patients and health care providers can visit www.chantix.com or
call +1-877-CHANTIX and register to receive more information about
CHANTIX. For prescribing information, please visit www.chantix.com.
DISCLOSURE NOTICE: The information contained in this release is as
of July 28, 2006. The Company assumes no obligation to update any
forward-looking statements contained in this release as a result of
new information or future events or developments.
This release contains forward-looking information about Champix
that involves substantial risks and uncertainties. A description of
these risks and uncertainties can be found in the Company's Annual
Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005 and
in its reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K.
Web site: http://www.pfizer.com
ots Originaltext: Pfizer Inc.
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