Pharmaceutical Giants Fight For Smoking Cessation Market In China
This article was originally published in PharmAsia News
Johnson & Johnson recently launched in China its Nicorette chewing gum and patch for people who want to quit smoking. It is the third such global product to enter the country following Novartis' Nicotinell (Nicotinell transdermal nicotine patches)and Pfizer's Champix (varenicline) (PharmAsia News, Dec. 8, 2008) launched respectively in 2007 and 2008. Compared with Nicotinell and Champix, which need prescriptions, OTC Nicorette offers greater accessibility to more people. Industry analysts point out that the huge China market accounts for the three giants' move, but the lack of short-term profit may cause some interested parties to withdraw. Johnson & Johnson agrees with the observation, but stresses its long-term strategy that will see product launches with different flavors. (Click here for more - Chinese Language)
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Pfizer launched its prescriptive medicine for smokers in China. Champix (varenicline) received approval as a prescription drug to stop smoking from China's State FDA in July. According to the latest epidemiology survey, the number of smokers in China exceeds 350 million, putting it highest worldwide in terms of absolute figure. About one million Chinese die of smoking-related diseases each year. Medical experts say that with the aid of a drug treatment under the supervision of doctors, the success rate of quitting smoking can be doubled. Champix has been in the U.S. market since 2006 and is recommended as a first-line drug. (Click here for more - Chinese language)
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