Pfizer taps Edelman for Champix anti-smoking drug

NEW YORK: Pfizer has selected Edelman to handle US and global outreach for Champix, a smoking cessation drug touted as a possible blockbuster.

NEW YORK: Pfizer has selected Edelman to handle US and global outreach for Champix, a smoking cessation drug touted as a possible blockbuster.

Chandler Chicco Agency (CCA) previously held the account for the drug, known generically as varenicline.

"Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, but quitting is very difficult," said Alison Lehanski, Pfizer director of PR. "Edelman demonstrated an understanding of the obstacles that smokers face."

Alison Lehanski, Pfizer director of PR, declined to discuss why the drug company decided to switch agencies less than a year after selecting CCA, which confirmed the loss of the account in October but declined to comment further.

Edelman did not respond to a request for comment. Terms were not disclosed.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December granted the yet-unapproved drug a six-month priority review, a fast track process for therapies that might offer a major advantage over others on the market.

Pfizer's product will enter the market on the heels of Sanofi-Aventis' Acomplia, which could receive FDA approval as early as this month. Acomplia is being tested as a treatment for both smoking and obesity.

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