A Brief History of Celebrex and Bextra
Pfizer (PFE) didn't have much time to take advantage of Merck's (MRK) misery after withdrawing its painkiller Vioxx from the market. Two of Pfizer's arthritis drugs, which belong to the same class as Vioxx, are now under regulatory and investor scrutiny. Here's a list of key events and dates.
Sept. 30: Merck pulls Vioxx from the market because a test showed that the drug caused a significant increase in cardiovascular risk among people who took the drug for more than 18 months.
Oct. 1: Pfizer says three large long-term Celebrex studies involving more than 6,000 patients "have not shown any significant safety issues and are expected to continue to completion." Pfizer adds that "the data we've accumulated over time demonstrate that Celebrex does not increase the risk of serious cardiovascular events in patients with arthritis and pain, even at higher-than-recommended doses." Celebrex reached the U.S. market in 1998, a year before Vioxx was available.
Oct. 7: An editorial published in an online version of
The New England Journal of Medicine raises questions about
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