This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
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
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

World of Pain for a Class of Drugs

Right now, the COX-2 inhibitor drug market is riddled with uncertainty and in desperate need of pain relief.

Merck's (MRK) Vioxx is gone. Its presumed successor, Arcoxia, is sold in 47 countries but not in the U.S.; and Merck is talking to foreign regulators about the drug following the U.S. Vioxx withdrawal.

In late October, the Food and Drug Administration granted conditional approval for Arcoxia, but that approval includes more clinical testing to assess long-term safety and efficacy. Merck has declined to provide details on what it would have to do and how long it would take. Clearly, Arcoxia won't reach the U.S. market for at least several years, and many analysts have dropped any prediction of U.S. sales for many years in their economic models.

As for Pfizer (PFE), it recently added several warnings to the Bextra label. (For a brief history of Bextra and Celebrex click here.)

Since 2002, a year after Bextra reached the U.S. market, the drug's label has carried a warning about Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare and sometimes fatal skin reaction. Recently, Pfizer, after discussions with the FDA, paid notice to this dangerous side-effect with a black box warning, the strictest alert required by the FDA.

Pfizer also added a warning to the label reflecting a recent study that showed the drug poses a higher risk of cardiovascular problems for patients undergoing heart bypass surgery. The risk was detected among patients who took Bextra and another Pfizer COX-2 drug that is not available in the U.S.

Some of the these problems cited by the FDA include heart attack, stroke, blood clots in the legs and blood clots in the lungs.

Another study of heart bypass patients taking only Bextra revealed a higher cardiovascular risk that wasn't considered statistically significant compared to patients taking a placebo. In addition, Pfizer says a third study of patients undergoing general surgery found no significant risk of cardiovascular problems among those receiving Bextra and the other COX-2 drug.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

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
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

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

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
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!

Markets

DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs