Pfizer exonerated in part of Celebrex litigation

SAN FRANCISCO U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer of San Francisco has ruled that plaintiffs in litigation against Pfizer over its painkiller Celebrex have not presented reliable scientific evidence to demonstrate that people taking 200 mg of the drug daily causes heart attacks or strokes, according to the WallStreetJournal.com.

There are more than 3,000 Celebrex plaintiffs, according to the ruling, but it isn’t clear as to how many this decision will affect. Paul Sizemore, a plaintiffs’ attorney with Girardi & Keese in Los Angeles, estimates that about 900 Celebrex cases involve plaintiffs who were prescribed the 200-milligram dose. However, he says, many of the plaintiffs took the drug twice a day.

New York plaintiffs’ lawyer Paul Pennock of Weitz & Luxenberg, which also handles Celebrex cases, estimates about two-thirds of the Celebrex cases will be unaffected by the ruling. But those involving 200-milligram dosages will be eliminated, he says.

“We are pleased with the decision of the federal court, which recognizes the lack of any credible evidence linking Celebrex, at its most common dosage form, with heart attacks or strokes,” Pfizer general counsel Allen Waxman said.

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