Health Canada has announced a ban on the anti-inflammatory drug Bextra, meant for those who suffer from arthritis. The benefits derived from the drug were outweighed by the cardiovascular risks, including the possibility of triggering strokes and heart attacks, according to an expert safety panel.
The drug is also known to cause severe skin reactions which can even prove to be fatal. Pfizer had earlier withdrawn the drug which belongs to the cox-2 inhibitors class after incidences of skin reactions in the country. Pfizer Canada however is of the view that the drug should be made available to those who continue to benefit from it.
The regulators in Europe and Canada have also voiced strong objections to the drug, as its safety is under doubt. The total sales Bextra in 2004 across the world was at US$ 1.3 billion. Vioxx, manufactured Merck & Co. Inc was also withdrawn from the market for similar reasons. This drug however has a chance of being permitted to enter the Canadian market again.