Who said that investing in drug companies was safe? Vioxx was recently recalled by Merck. now Celebrex has similar problems but Pfizer Chief Executive Hank McKinnell said that, unlike Vioxx, Celebrex won’t be recalled.
An interesting aside by the way is that now the class action lawsuits against Vioxx are getting underway and the competition is fierce. I’ve heard reports that a paid search ad targeting Vioxx goes for $15.00 and up. Good news for Google shareholders, but not for Merck shareholders…
One wonders if Pfizer’s Celebrex will start getting the same class action attention as Merck’s Vioxx. It seems that they are similar drugs with similar side effects:
Merck recalled Vioxx on Sept. 30 after a study found that a long-term use of the drug doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke. Both Celebrex and Vioxx belong to a class of drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors. They work by selectively blocking a protein called COX-2 that has been linked to inflammation.
With the FDA being criticized for not taking Celebrex off the market, Pfizer shareholders have to hope that leaving this drug (with 2003 sales of $1.9 billion) doesn’t open up more legal liability than it’s worth.