UK Body Recommends Pfizer's Champix (varenicline) for Smokers

PfizerPfizer Inc announced today that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the United Kingdom has recommended Champix (varenicline) for use on the National Health Service for adult smokers who have expressed a desire to quit. This gives smokers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland access to another important treatment option to help them quit smoking.

In its Final Appraisal Determination, NICE concluded that varenicline was "superior to NRT [nicotine replacement therapy] and bupropion in achieving continuous abstinence" and that its use in smoking cessation was "likely to be a cost-effective use of National Health Service resources."

"This guidance means that smokers who are serious about stopping have another choice from a good range of clinically proven treatments, said Professor Robert West, Professor of Health Psychology at University College London. "Smokers who combine treatments with the right support – for instance from smoking cessation services - could significantly increase their odds of successfully quitting for life."

Champix is the first new prescription aid to smoking cessation treatment in nearly a decade. Pfizer discovered and developed Champix specifically as an aid to smoking cessation through its unique mechanism of action targeting the specific receptor to which nicotine binds. Champix is believed to work by reducing the severity of the smoker's urge to smoke.

"This guidance in the U.K. recognizes the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of Champix, and encourages physicians and smokers to consider this treatment as a new treatment option to help smokers quit smoking," said Jack Watters, MD, Pfizer's Vice President of International Medical Affairs. "The implications of this ruling are particularly timely as they come just before World No Tobacco Day, when organizations and governments around the world will work to implement smoke-free policies, which may further encourage smokers to make a quit attempt."

Smoking, the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, is responsible for five million deaths worldwide each year. By 2010, the World Health Organization estimates the annual global cost of tobacco-related illness to be approximately US$500 billion.

The medication, varenicline, with trade name Chantix (varenicline) in the United States, received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval as an aid to smoking cessation in May 2006. In the European Union, Champix received marketing authorization in September 2006 for use as a smoking cessation aid. For a patient prescribed Champix or Chantix, Pfizer also offers behavioral support, a personalized online interactive program to help smokers quit, at no extra cost. In clinical trials, varenicline was generally well tolerated with overall discontinuation rates similar to placebo. The most frequent side effects included nausea, headache, trouble sleeping and changes in dreaming.

US patients and health care providers can visit www.chantix.com or call 1-877-CHANTIX and register to receive more information about Chantix. For prescribing information, please visit www.chantix.com.

Most Popular Now

Cannabis extract helps reset brain function in psy…

Research from King's College London has found that a single dose of the cannabis extract cannabidiol can help reduce brain function abnormalities seen in people with psyc...

New cancer treatment uses enzymes to boost immune …

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a new approach to treating cancer using enzyme therapy. The enzyme, PEG-KYNase, does not directly kill can...

Bayer accelerates six new startups

Changing the experience of health: that's the focus of the six startups which the Bayer G4A team has included in the Accelerator program this year. The young companies fr...

Novartis receives European Commission approval of …

Novartis today announced that the European Commission (EC) has approved Kymriah® (tisagenlecleucel, formerly CTL019). The approved indications are for the treatment of pe...

Antioxidant reduces risk for second heart attack, …

Doctors have long known that in the months after a heart attack or stroke, patients are more likely to have another attack or stroke. Now, a paper in the Journal of the A...

Shire completes sale of oncology franchise

Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPG) announces today that it has completed the sale of its Oncology franchise to Servier S.A.S. for $2.4 billion. The franchise includes the...

Novartis to divest the Sandoz US dermatology busin…

Novartis today announced it has agreed to sell selected portions of its Sandoz US portfolio, specifically the Sandoz US dermatology business and generic US oral solids po...

Tezepelumab granted Breakthrough Therapy Designati…

AstraZeneca and its partner Amgen Inc. (Amgen) today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for tezepelumab...

Pfizer terminates domagrozumab (PF-06252616) clini…

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) announced that it is terminating two ongoing clinical studies evaluating domagrozumab (PF-06252616) for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrop...

New tablet production facility in Ingelheim: Cente…

Boehringer Ingelheim held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new production facility for innovative drugs. This new Solids Launch facility will focus on ...

Study links widely-used drug azathioprine to skin …

A drug used to treat inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and vasculitis as well as to prevent organ rejection in transplant patients has been identified as an important...

Pfizer and Astellas amend clinical research protoc…

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) and Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE:4503, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., "Astellas") announced amendments to the protocols for two registratio...