The US Food and Drug Administration has finally revealed that it will be reviewing Pfizer's anti-smoking drug, Chantix, nearly 18 months after first coming out with a warning that the drug could be associated with increased cardiovascular risk.
The agency had first released the warning back in June 2011 after studies revealed that people who took the drug were more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases compared to people who did not take the drug. FDA had asked Pfizer to further evaluate the risk of the drug and the study observed around 4,190 Chantix users, of which 13 were found to have cardiovascular disease compared to 6 of the 2,812 people who were given placebo.
Pfizer admitted that Chantix could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease but the company spokesman, MacKay Jimeson said that the benefits of the drug outweighed the risks. "The benefits of quitting smoking are immediate and substantial. Chantix has been demonstrated to increase the likelihood of abstinence from smoking for as long as one year compared to treatment with placebo", Jimeson said.