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Pfizer releases new data for Pristiq

Published on 09/05/12 at 10:07am
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Pfizer has released positive data for its established antidepressant Pristiq, as it hopes to extend the use of the drug. 

In a long-term study, patients who received 50mg dose of Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) showed a relapse rate of 14%, compared with 30% for those taking a placebo. 

The drug also showed statistically significant reductions in depression symptoms in an eight-week study of peri- and postmenopausal women, compared with a placebo. 

The drug, a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, is indicated in the US for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) in adults. 

Pfizer said the latest study results - which were presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association - also “added to data supporting Pristiq’s effectiveness and safety”.

The drug made $577 million in sales last year and is the second generation form of Effexor, which recently lost its patent protection in key markets - Effexor was making nearly $2 billion a year at its peak.

Pfizer gained both drugs from its acquisition with Wyeth in 2009 and will hope to generate more revenue from Pristiq now that Effexor’s sales have been decimated by generic competition.

Pristiq is not available in Europe as Wyeth pulled its application for the drug in 2008. This decision came after the EMA did not think it was as effective as Effexor. 

Christine Guico-Pabia, senior director of global medical affairs at Pfizer, said: “Patients benefit when their healthcare providers have a variety of medicines from which to choose for complex medical conditions, such as major depressive disorder.

“With an established efficacy and safety profile, and new data that provide clinicians with valuable treatment insights, there is a robust body of evidence that supports the use of Pristiq for adult patients with major depressive disorder.” 

Ben Adams 

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