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PFIZER TO PULL CELEBREX CONSUMER ADVERTISING

But Says It Does Not Intend to Withdraw Drug From Market

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Pfizer will stop all consumer advertising for its arthritis pain killer Celebrex, according to a report
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published in The New York Times.

Won't withdraw drug
The pharmaceutical giant said although it will cease advertising for the drug, it does not intend to take Celebrex off the market.

The move follows Pfizer's announcement Friday that the results of a government-sponsored study found the drug more than doubled the risk of heart attack in some types of patients.

$70 million
Publicis Groupe's Kaplan Thaler Group of New York handles consumer advertising for Celebrex. Ad spending for the product was around $70 million in for 2004, according to published reports.

A Kaplan Thaler spokeswoman could not be reached at press time. A call to Pfizer was not returned at press time.

Celebrex is in a class of drugs called COX-2 inhibitors, a group that has come under increased scrutiny. In September, Pfizer rival Merck pulled its COX-2 drug, Vioxx, from the market.

Merck took that action after a study revealed heart attack and stroke risk was doubled for long-term Vioxx users.

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