Liberal Grace

Monday, December 04, 2006

Pfizer: a good drug company

Let's acknowledge that Pfizer did the moral thing.

Pfizer took a huge hit when it ended it's next big drug rock star, torcetrapib.

Pfizer's failed pill, torcetrapib, was designed to prevent heart attacks and strokes by raising the "good cholesterol," HDL. High levels of HDL, which clears fatty plaque out of the arteries, seem to prevent heart attacks. Scientists thought a drug that raised HDL would prevent heart attacks and extend lives.

But an independent safety board stopped a 15,000 patient trial comparing the combination of torcetrapib and Pfizer's bestseller, the cholesterol-lowering pill Lipitor. In the study, 82 patients died while receiving the combination, compared with just 55 who received Lipitor alone. A statistical analysis showed the difference was unlikely to be the result of chance.
Behind Pfizer's Failure

Right behind terrorism and Colombian drug kingpins, the big pharmaceuticals are portrayed as evil in our popular media.

So, I think it is important that we publicly acknowledge that Pfizer did the right thing here.

It must have been very tempting to keep the trials going, considering Pfizer is abandoning $800,000,000 in research. That has to be serious money, even for a big pharmaceutical.

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