Last February, the FDA issueda health advisory about the controversial smoking-cessation pill and abnormal behavior, agitation, depressed mood, suicidal ideation, and actual suicidal behavior. This followed months of headlines that raised questions about the drug's safety and subsequent reports have done the same thing, including a study last month by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.
As the months wore by, Pfizer sales reps began mentioning the safety and side effects, particularly psychiatric side effects, less frequently, according to data from ImpactRx, a market research firm. As the chart indicates, details were more likely to mention the issues in February than in subsequent months. Approximately 200 docs provided info each month about their interactions with Pfizer reps about Chantix. Impact, by the way, describes these as 'verbatims.'
Here is an example of positive positioning mentioned by Pfizer reps to docs: "Chantix has very few side effects. Sometimes, there's vivid dreams and sometimes, there's nausea. It should be dosed for a full three months and, sometimes, even six months to make sure the patient stays tobacco free."