FDA approves Chantix for smoking cessation

Those looking to quit smoking have another weapon in their arsenal to kick the habit. Chantix was approved by the FDA yesterday, but whether insurance companies will cover it remains a mystery. Chantix works by “selectively blocking the α4β2 nicotinic receptors” (PDF) in the brain.

Chantix joins another smoking-cessation drug that’s not very popular at all: Zyban. Zyban never really made it big because insurance companies refused to pay for it, and there was another drug on the market that had the same active ingredient — the perennially popular Wellbutrin.

For Pfizer’s sake, I hope they find a second clinical use for Chantix before someone else does, otherwise I suspect they will have wasted a boatload of money. Rarely are brand-name medications priced low enough to appeal to the masses who have to pay out-of-pocket.

On a completely unrelated note, I saw Thank You for Smoking yesterday and it was excellent.

[tags]Chantix, Pfizer, smoking cessation, Wellbutrin, Zyban[/tags]

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