The pill, called Champix in Europe and Chantix in the U.S. but known generically as varenicline, has been tied to everything from violent rages to suicidal thoughts. Reported side effects of Chantix have led to hundreds of lawsuits nationwide, including one filed last month in Pennsylvania following a 2009 murder-suicide.
French health Minister Xavier Bertrand said Tuesday he decided to remove the drug from a list of approved treatments available for reimbursement through his country’s social security funds because of questions about its safety.About bloody time. Well done the French Health Minister. Some recent history is also included in this report:
In another controversy surrounding the drug, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced late last week that Pfizer had been asked last year to resubmit thousands of reports on adverse events related to Chantix, a request that came after it was revealed the company had not sent the information through proper channels.
The adverse-event information had been sent as a periodic safety summary rather than as a report required within 15 days for unexpected or fatal events, the FDA said.I could comment but time is short today. Chris has already said what had to be said (comment 5):
Medical authorities the world over CLAIM to have the best interests of patients at heart. They CLAIM to be approaching these problems logically and scientifically.
Therefore it should be standard practice everywhere to try all safe methods FIRST, and only proceed to methods that involve any risk at all if none of the safe methods work. It is an absolute no-brainer. Hypnotherapy, acupuncture and the Allen Carr approach (which is a mild form of hypnotherapy anyway) have all proven themselves to be more effective in the long term than any of the meds, and they all involve NO RISK.
Why are they not being used as a priority to avoid damage to patients? Because of the massive lobbying power of global drug giants and their immoral influence over politicians and medical authorities.
It’s corruption, and it is killing people. Think I’m exaggerating, calling this sort of thing corruption? Check this out: GlaxoSmithKline have just revealed how much cash they lavished on Australian doctors and other medical personnel last year alone: over two million dollars, of which $371,659 was just to go on merry junkets to conferences abroad. In the age of the internet, none of this is necessary but it certainly makes people feel important, doesn’t it? Would YOU like an all-expenses paid trip to Vienna? But that’s nothing: in the same period GSK spent a staggering $96,000,000 on doctors in the USA (link here). Why? Because money talks.
But so do smokers! Spread the word, don’t risk the slimy meds. Even Pfizer can’t force their drugs down your throat. Doctors, I keep telling you: you’ll miss your credibility when it’s finally gone forever. You are signing it away with your own prescriptions pads with dodgy drugs like Champix, every working day of your lives.
BUT HOORAY FOR THE FRENCH HEALTH MINISTER! Monsieur Xavier Bertrand, I salute you! Bravo!He's right. Champix is a drug that is being used to treat something that is far from being universally recognised as a sickness: the desire to give up smoking. And it's not only not the safest option, it's got a known track record (and I don't mean in getting people off tobacco). So let's stop spending our 'health' money on it.