This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Study: New Pfizer Drug No Better Than Old

When it comes to anti-infective drugs, Pfizer (PFE - Get Report) is finding out that newer doesn't necessarily mean better -- even if it costs more.

That's the theme of a recent research article and editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, showing that Pfizer's antifungal Eraxis works no better than a cheaper generic antifungal called fluconazole.

Although prices of Eraxis and similar brand-name antifungals have "dropped substantially," they remain "several-fold higher than that of generic fluconazole," says the editorial. "There is absolutely no justification for abandoning fluconazole, given its safety, overall efficacy and low cost."

The editorial and research article, both issued late Wednesday afternoon, are rich with irony. Fluconazole is the generic name for Pfizer's Diflucan, and Eraxis was seen as a successor to this drug , which lost patent protection in July 2004.

Last year's Diflucan sales were $435 million, down from $498 million in 2005 and $945 million in 2004. Pfizer doesn't list sales of Eraxis, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in February 2006.

Eraxis, fluconazole and similar drugs fight invasive candidiasis, a fungal infection that spreads through the bloodstream. Its most dangerous form, called candidemia, strikes 60,000 people in the U.S. each year and kills 40% of those afflicted, Pfizer says. The drugs also treat other infections caused by the Candida fungus.

One other irony of the Eraxis study is that the company-sponsored research achieved its goals -- showing that Eraxis was no worse than fluconazole. In medical parlance, this is called a non-inferiority study.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
PFE $35.04 0.00%
AAPL $124.75 0.00%
FB $80.78 0.00%
GOOG $524.05 0.00%
TSLA $206.79 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,826.30 -279.47 -1.54%
S&P 500 2,081.18 -23.81 -1.13%
NASDAQ 4,931.8150 -75.9760 -1.52%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs