Champix 5: No Wonder Drug

by Chris Holmes

*Update: If you or a loved one has suffered a bad reaction to Champix and you are based in the U.K., you can report it to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) here. The more people do that the clearer the true picture will become. Protect others! Report it.*

Until recently I was advising smokers to Google “Champix Suicides” if they wanted to hear the truth about this dangerous – and largely useless – medication. Nowadays, all you have to do is Google “Champix” and those warning sites are already appearing on the first page, along with all the shameless promotions and internet ‘pharmacies’ selling the stuff.

It was the Mirror group of newspapers that first announced the decision to make Champix available on the NHS here in the U.K. I just visited and found that they list a total of four articles about Champix published by them since May 2007. They appear on the site like this:

1) NHS pill to stop smoking A pill to help smokers quit will be available on the NHS within weeks… (May 31st 07)

2) Anti-cig tablet – The Verdict Two Mirror readers tell how the wonder drug worked for them… (June 1st 07)

3) Quit cigs pill alarm A pill that helps smokers kick the habit is being probed over possible links to suicidal thoughts… (Nov 28 2007)

4 Man ‘killed by anti-smoking drug’ A grieving wife claims her husband killed himself after taking a new anti-smoking drug… (Jan 21 2008).

Quite a neat summary, isn’t it? Notice how the Mirror played their part in hyping it, though? Calling Champix a “pill that helps smokers kick the habit” as if that were simply a fact – when in truth at least 80% will still be smoking a year later, unless of course they have killed themselves. And referring to it as a “wonder drug”, once again perpetuating the myth of the magic pill and encouraging smokers to try it.

Of course, those people at The Mirror don’t make the news – let’s be clear about that. They just hold up a mirror to reality, don’t they, hence the name.  They’re not influencing anyone, are they?  I notice they didn’t call it a wonder drug any more in the fourth article, though. But don’t worry: there’ll be another “wonder drug” along soon, to distract you from the disturbing fact that the last one has been killing people, and didn’t work for the majority anyway. Check out the evidence here.

Now – those of you who checked out that link above – apparently that BBC reporter has been told that Champix out-performed “alternative” methods in scientific trials. The reporter is actually referring there to the pharmaceutical alternatives, not any type of Alternative Medicine. It is not hard to out-perform NRT or Zyban, which have long-term success rates of only 6% and 12% respectively. Hypnotherapy is far more successful than Champix, and without the risks.

Notice too how Pfizer try to muddy the waters with regard to the side-effects, talking about “nicotine withdrawal” and “underlying psychiatric problems”? No, their nasty little pill is screwing people’s brains up, and they’ll deny it as long as they can, that’s all. Look at the vast sums of money they are raking in – quite a lot of it is NHS cash, which the NHS can ill-afford – and the damn stuff doesn’t work for most smokers anyway! It is obscene.

That is why it is so good to see that sufferers are beginning to hit back, and encourage other to do the same. Follow this link to hear how Tim Wilkinson feels about Pfizer’s attitude to sufferers like himself and what he intends to do about it.  Scroll down the Champix article to find the Comments below, they are in date order and Tim’s first comment is dated October 2008:  (3 posts: Oct 5th, Dec 4th and 14th 2008)

Anyway, watch this space. I predict that the Champix death toll will go on rising, the court cases will pile up, and the newspaper reports will get grimmer and grimmer… just don’t take the damn stuff, folks. Doctors, don’t prescribe it – it isn’t safe and doesn’t work well enough to be worth the risk. Hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr method and acupuncture all work better than Champix, Zyban or NRT – that is a fact, and the longer medical authorities and pharmaceutical companies seek to deny that, the worse will be their credibility in the long run. Truth Will Out.

Oh, by the way – one or two comments have suggested this site is just self-promotion… if that were true, why would I mention the Allen Carr people and acupuncturists? I have no connection with either. I want smokers to be fully aware that there are other choices that don’t involve risk and are more effective anyway – take your pick, just don’t take the pills. And if you want to help, spread the word. Either way, feel free to comment – your post will appear on the site within 48 hours max. If the “Leave a Reply” box isn’t visible below this post, click on the word “Comments” below.   All views welcome.

The Drug That Never Was