Pfizer introduces anti-smoking drug 'Champix' in India
US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc on Tuesday launched Varenicline drug in India that help smokers to kick off smoking under the brand name Champix.
After the drug spell a huge success story in the US and Europe it is expected to repeat the same here in India. So, now chain-smokers have another option to tryor with an intense desire to quit smoking.
The new drug, a non-nicotine smoking cessation is considered as superior to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
Varenicline helps the smoker by diminishing the pleasurable effects of a fag and thinning the craving for the same unlike the other available drugs. The drug has to be taken for 12 weeks and will be available first in major cities across India with a cost of Rs 9,500.
During the launch of the drug, Kewal Handa, the Managing Director of Pfizer India, said, “Pfizer's Champix is the most innovative and effective oral smoking cessation product to be approved by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the last 10 years.”
“It has benefited over 5.7 million people since its worldwide launch in mid-2006. We are confident that Champix will provide the same level of benefits to smokers in India and contribute to a healthier world,” he added.
The drug is designed to provide the necessary physiological and psychological support to the smokers and research shows that Champix has scored far better on chances of quitting smoking than other drugs.
Champix is the first non-nicotine drug and sure to help smokers if they want to say good bye to this habit.
Smoking related deaths have become a major concern but are also preventable. Many addicted to smoking find it very difficult even if they decided to kick it as nicotine in cigarette acts a stimulant and is mainly responsible for dependence forming properties of tobacco smoking. American Heart Association defines Nicotine addiction as one of the hardest addictions to break.
As per the latest report supported by World Health Organisation (WHO) and Indian government, at least one million people are going to suffer smoking related deaths by 2010.
With an estimated total of around 120 million (12 crore) in India the average age of smokers vary from 30-69 including a one-third of men and about 5 per cent of women. The study also reveals that one of every five male deaths and one out of every 20 female deaths are come about due to smoking related diseases.
In a study conducted by New England Journal of Medicine found that in India 61% of men smokers will die at age 30-69 as compared to 41% non smokers. While 62% women smoker will die at age 30-69 as compared to 38% non smokers.
Indian government has also been tightening the laws by banning smoking in public places to restrain the growing tobacco addiction among young men and women. The recent laws imposed by health ministry have banned direct and indirect ban of tobacco products.
Hence, Champix holds a promise for millions who realises strongly that smoking is not only dangerous as it invites many diseases but also proves to be fatal.
February 27, 2008