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"New drug helps patients stop smoking, researchers say"



04 Jul 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (3 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

A new stop-smoking drug appears to work better than drugs currently on the market, but it's likely that no pill will ever be 100 per cent effective, scientists say.
Three studies published this week suggest that varenicline, a new smoking cessation drug developed by Pfizer, is more effective in the short term than Zyban, manufactured by rival GlaxoSmithKline....

The original article can found in the Media Doctor archives.

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 6 of 10
Availability of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Sources of Information Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

The discussion of the evidence from three trials of smoking-cessation drugs is thorough with the exception of information on whether patients were randomized or not. Although this story fails to mention if there were any harms from the medication it does point out that all three of the trials on varenicline were funded by the manufacturer hoping to market the product. It is important to know how long patients in smoking cessation trails were studied and this article does a good job of reporting the trial lengths. Even though the new treatment showed itself beneficial after 12 weeks, by the end of a year the difference between drug and placebo was 7%. As the article indicates: "about 44 per cent of those taking the drug had not smoked, compared to 37 per cent of those taking the sugar pill."

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