It's commonly believed that Europeans lead healthier lives than Americans. But anyone who's been to Europe knows that in one respect, that's not necessarily true: Smoking is far more common on the other side of the Atlantic, with 34% of E.U. citizens smoking, compared to 25% in the United States. To help alleviate this problem (and doubtlessly pursue a potential sales opportunity), pharmaceutical company Pfizer
Even with Champix on the market, there will still be a big need for a better treatment to help people stop smoking. Only 20% of patients who took Champix remained smoke-free after a year. These are still quite positive results, but I wonder how much they were due to lifestyle changes, rather than Champix.
Champix received marketing approval for the United States in May of this year, and it's only been sold since August, so it's still too early to tell what sort of sales the drug will achieve. The drug is relatively safe, with nausea and abnormal dreams as two of the worst side effects, so there should be little resistance by doctors to prescribe the drug.
With revenue growth only up 3% year over year in the most recent quarter, and the company facing generic competition in many of its areas of focus, Pfizer could use a few more product approvals like Champix or its recently approved inhaled insulin product, Exubera.
Given Pfizer's previously announced plans to spend $17 billion to license and acquire drugs, investors must hope that the company can continue to bring novel drugs to the market and make smart acquisitions. Activities like this drug approval, and the molecule licensing earlier this week from privately held Quark Biotech, should eventually reignite Pfizer's moribund revenue growth.