In Documents on Pain Drug Celebrex, Signs of Doubt and Deception - (The New York Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • A decision by Pfizer and Pharmacia to withhold data on the stomach protecting properties of celebrex, as well as similar reports of withheld data by other drugmakers, has led to calls for reforms in the way that clinical trial data is published, The New York Times reported.
  • Specifically, Pfizer and its partner opted to disclose six month data suggesting that Celebrex was safer on the stomach than other established drugs, instead of year-long data from the same study that showed there was no overall benefit.
  • Pfizer has defended its decision to release partial results from the 2000 study and denies any intent to deceive and has argued that presenting the limited data was legitimate because so many people taking a comparison drug, diclofenac, dropped out, biasing the later results.
  • The withheld data also led to a lawsuit, filed in 2003, by several pension funds that charged that by handling the results the way they did, Pfizer and Pharmacia had misled investors and were responsible for a drop in Pharmacia’s stock value when the full results were revealed.
  • However, some doctors said Celebrex has advantages because it can be taken once a day and studies have shown that it causes less stomach discomfort than other drugs, although some have argued those types of findings are not always reliable.

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