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Pfizer NZ Response To Medsafe Announcement

29 April 2005

Pfizer New Zealand Response To Medsafe Announcement

Pfizer New Zealand Ltd welcomes the announcement by Medsafe that it has revised its earlier advice, and will keep the company’s COX-2 inhibitor arthritis medication, Celebrex, on the market, Pfizer New Zealand General Manager Mark Crotty said.

As part of the COX-2 review Pfizer presented Medsafe with considerable literature and information on studies regarding the safety of Celebrex, involving tens of thousands of patients over several years.

“I am sure that patients and medical practitioners will be relieved that Medsafe has taken on board the evidence presented to them, and that Celebrex and other Coxibs will remain available.”

“Pfizer advises patients who were previously taking Celebrex to now visit their GP to discuss their options.”

“However, despite welcoming the decision, Pfizer disagrees with some of Medsafe’s proposed new prescribing guidelines for Celebrex, which may restrict patient access to the product,” Mark Crotty said

"Celebrex is an important treatment option for all patients suffering the pain associated with arthritis, in particular for those that are unable to tolerate alternative therapies.”

“Pfizer hopes to work with Medsafe to bring the proposed prescribing guidelines in line with other regulatory guidelines recommendations, such as the EMEA, the European Regulatory Agency.”

“Pfizer will enter negotiations with Medsafe to ensure the proposed new prescribing guidelines reflect the evidence available for Celebrex, and that New Zealanders continue to have access to this medication,” Mark Crotty said.

ENDS

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