Pfizer finds heart attack risk with Celebrex, plans to continue to sell drug

Parsippany-based Pfizer Inc. announced Friday that its popular arthritis drug Celebrex could pose serious health risks. But the company's decision to keep the drug on the market is even bigger news. It's the same problem that was announced about Merck's Vioxx in September. Vioxx is a popular arthritis drug, but it was recalled when studies linked it to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Despite Vioxx's bad news, Pfizer said its arthritis drug Celebrex, was safe. But now it appears that may not be true. Unlike Merck, however, Pfizer said it would not pull the drug from the market, but a study testing it for cancer prevention was halted. Some doctors said people should stop taking that medicine and others like it, called cox-2 inhibitors, until their safety is more thoroughly studied. When the news first broke Pfizer's stock took a big hit after but has since rebounded.

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