Friday, May 30, 2008

Pfizer Invites This Blogger to Chantix Media Roundtable Discussion

Last week, I posted an open letter to Pfizer asking to be invited into the Chantix discussion "tent" (see "Dear Pfizer: Please invite me to your Chantix round-table media discussion"). So far, no response from Pfizer.

But I did not just make a snarky-serious blog post in my attempt to get into the tent. I called at least 3 people in Pfizer corporate communications department, including two calls to cell phones of 2 of them!

I also e-mailed about 4 "media" reporters at the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.com who wrote stories about Chantix and Pfizer's intention to "reach out" to the media asking for help contacting the right person at Pfizer.

Finally, I hooked up with Francisco Gebauer at Pfizer who sent me an invitation!

WHAT:
  • Pfizer Roundtable Discussion
  • Pfizer will host a panel discussion to review the benefit-risk profile of Chantix
WHO:
  • Joseph Feczko, Pfizer Chief Medical Officer
  • Sally Susman, Pfizer Chief Communications Officer
  • Gretchen Dieck, SVP Pfizer Safety and Risk Management
  • Ponni Subbiah, VP Pfizer Medical
WHEN:
  • Thursday, June 5, 2008 * 9:30 – 11:00 AM
WHERE:
  • Pfizer Headquarters * 235 East 42nd Street
I suppose I'll have to dress up so as not to get delayed at Pfizer security!

More important, however, is what questions I ask them about Chantix? Here are a couple that come to mind:
  1. Will the current perceived safety problems of Chantix require some kind of innovative DTC advertising like that for Celebrex?
  2. How about a Chantix Blog similar to the alli blog? Is it time for Pfizer to engage patients in that kind of transparent discussion of the risks vs, benefits?
Kudos to any reader who provides me the most blogworthy question!

NOTE: If you are a media type also attending this roundtable, please don't steal my questions for your own use! They are copyrighted!

6 comments:

  1. Are Pfizer planning any PMS studies to investigate the Chantix/suicide link?

    Do Pfizer accept there is a link?

    When do Pfizer expect the FDA to finish their review?

    Are Pfizer planning to look at databases (such as GPRD in the UK) to further investigate these side effects?

    In reality (as opposed to clinical trials) how effective is Chantix really?

    Do Pfizer have plans to take Chantix OTC (LOL)?

    For Joseph Feczko. If the pilot of your coporate jet (or the driver of your limo taking you to the airport) said " Yeah, I'm taking Chantix - screw the authorities!", what would you do?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why did Pfizer lie twice in a single paragraph in their statement regarding the link between Chantix and suicide?

    They said "In the controlled clinical trial program of more than 5000 patients treated with CHANTIX, adverse events related to changes in behavior or psychiatric symptoms, including suicidal ideation, were rare and occurred at a rate comparable to placebo-treated patients. There were no suicides in patients taking CHANTIX in our clinical trials."

    1. There was indeed a suicide in one of the trials which occurred in the treatment group.

    2. There were fewer than 5000 patients treated with CHANTIX in the clinical trials.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ray Kerins1:08 PM

    Based on the poem that you posted last week, we know that you were anxious to attend our media roundtable today. We’re sorry that you couldn’t make it. Would be happy to set up some time with you to speak with some of our medical and safety folks to address your questions.



    Sincerely,

    Ray Kerins

    Vice President, Global Media Relations, Pfizer

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ray, I am sorry that I could not attend. I did send you and the other Pfizer people on the distribution list an email this AM. Maybe it got caught in spam filter.

    I had a harrowing 2 days and am exhausted today and trying to catch up before I take a few days off.

    If you can set up time for me to talk to people that would be fine. I sent some questions that I thought I would ask in that email, but here they are again:

    1. Will the current perceived safety problems of Chantix require some kind of innovative DTC
    advertising like that for Celebrex? or some form of new media interaction with patients such as a
    Chantix Blog similar to the alli blog? Is it time for Pfizer to engage patients in that kind of
    transparent discussion of the risks vs. benefits?

    2. Is Pfizer planning any PMS studies to investigate the Chantix/suicide link?

    3. When does Pfizer expect the FDA to finish their review of AERs?

    4. Is Pfizer planning to look at databases (such as GPRD in the UK) to further investigate these side
    effects?

    Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Perhaps they could explain an ad for a quit-smoking product that never mentions a single reason to quit smoking.

    Or an ad for a quit-smoking product that features a woman who "LOVED SMOKING". In fact the same ad.

    How is this possible?

    Does it have to do with the history of Big Pharma carrying water for Big Tobacco perhaps?

    Research on the ties between Big Tobacco and Big Pharma:

    Financial Ties and Conflicts of Interest Between Pharmaceutical and Tobacco Companies; Bhavna Shamasunder, MES; Lisa Bero, PhD
    JAMA. 2002;288:738-744. Abstract here:

    ". . . tobacco companies pressured pharmaceutical companies to scale back their smoking cessation educational materials that accompanied Nicorette . . ."

    Is it a coincidence that Pfizer's full page ad currently running in all major newspapers, talks about loving smoking, and never mentions a single health effect of cigarettes? This is somehow an ad for a quit-smoking product.

    Or is Pfizer determined to kill its sales? Just really, really, hates money. Is that the reason?

    Perhaps Pfizer could clear this up for us.

    ReplyDelete

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