January 14, 2010 / 10:35 PM / 10 years ago

Suits allege harm from Pfizer quit-smoking drug

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three personal injury lawsuits were filed against Pfizer Inc on Thursday, claiming its smoking-cessation drug Chantix caused attempted suicides or death.

The suits, all filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan by the same plaintiffs’ law firm, claim Pfizer failed to notify doctors and patients about dangers the company allegedly knew about the pill — including depression and suicidal thoughts—at the time the plaintiffs took the medicine.

And even though Pfizer subsequently added warnings to its package insert, the law firm alleged the drug label is still inadequate.

Pfizer introduced Chantix in the United States in 2006, with hopes it would become a huge product that would help revive flagging company profits, but its sales have wilted amid concern about side effects.

“Defendant intentionally, recklessly, and/or negligently concealed, suppressed, omitted, and/or misrepresented the risks, dangers, defects and disadvantages of Chantix,” attorney Marc Grossman alleged in all three lawsuits.

Grossman is with the Mineola, New York law firm of Sanders Viener Grossman LLP.

Pfizer could not immediately be reached for comment.

Reporting by Ransdell Pierson and Bill Berkrot; editing by Carol Bishopric

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