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Home Industry News Novartis launches Prexige in Europe

Novartis launches Prexige in Europe

18th January 2006

Novartis has launched its painkiller Prexige (lumiracoxib) in Europe, despite receiving a licence two years ago.

The launch was delayed over safety fears after similar COX-2 inhibitor drugs such as Merck’s Vioxx (rofecoxib) and Pfizer’s Bextra (valdecoxib) were found to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

In response Novartis instigated Target (Therapeutic Arthritis Research & Gastrointestinal Event Trial) involving 34,000 patients worldwide and the world’s largest ever arthritis clinical trial to look into the effects of COX-2 inhibitor.

Prexige was found to cause similar levels of cardiovascular effects as compared with naproxen and ibuprofen, while bleeding in the stomach or intestine was found to be less likely.

Despite these findings, fears over the safety of COX-2 inhibitors, a class of non-steroidal pain medications, may lead to sales of the drug being lower than expected.

track© Adfero Ltd

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