Written by Faith Anderson on March 6, 2013
FDA Warnings Regarding Chantix Problems
Chantix (varenicline) is a prescription drug that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 to help people stop smoking. Shortly after the medication was introduced however, serious concerns were raised about its safety, after a number of reports surfaced involving Chantix users who suffered depression, suicidal thoughts, sudden behavior changes and other potential side effects of the drug. In June 2009, the FDA added a “black box” warning to the Chantix label, warning consumers about the risk of psychological problems associated with the smoking cessation drug. At that time, Pfizer was also asked to conduct additional clinical trials to provide more data regarding how often neuropsychiatric symptoms and suicide occurred with Chantix use.
Risk of Suicide With Chantix Use
According to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Pfizer indicated that it has reached a settlement or is approaching a settlement with plaintiffs in roughly 80% of the known Chantix lawsuits in the United States, with costs already nearing $300 million. Overall, Pfizer faces more than 2,500 Chantix lawsuits related to problems that allegedly caused former users to commit suicide, attempt suicide or engage in other unusual behavior. In addition to individual lawsuits filed in various state courts throughout the country, the federal Chantix litigation has been consolidated in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama as part of an MDL (multidistrict litigation).
Contact an Attorney to File a Claim
In the SEC filing, Pfizer indicated that the company has already paid $273 million to settle Chantix lawsuits, and expects to pay at least another $15 million by the end of the year to resolve remaining Chantix claims at both the state and federal level. Pfizer did note that some complaints will remain unresolved and may go to trial. If you or a loved one has suffered serious complications since taking the smoking cessation drug Chantix, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help you contact a knowledgeable lawyer with experience handling drug injury cases in your area. With a qualified attorney on your side, you may be able to file a claim against Pfizer and seek fair and timely reimbursement for your losses.