A federal judge in San Francisco has dismissed some Celebrex cases, giving Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) a partial victory. The only cases dismissed are those of patients who were using 200 mg. of Celebrex. Judge Breyer found that there was insufficient scientific proof that this amount of Celebrex caused heart attacks or strokes as some doctors have alleged. This ruling only affects cases pending in the multi-district litigation and does not affect the Celebrex cases pending in New Jersey or New York. Celebrex is still on the market as a pain killer, although it carries with it the Food and Drug Administration’s most severe and serious warning, known as a “black box” warning. The black box is there to alert doctors and patients of the potential risks of this drug. Another Pfizer pain killer, Bextra, has been withdrawn from the market, along with Merck’s (NYSE: MRK) painkiller Vioxx. Merck recently agreed to pay heart attack and stroke victims $4.85 billion to settle their claims. Celebrex and Bextra are Cox -2 drugs, the same class of drugs as Vioxx.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Drugs, Medical Devices, and Implants.