Analyst: Chantix Suicide Lawsuits Could Lead to Pfizer PR “Nightmare”

Irene Hobbs | April 19th, 2012

In an April 4, 2012 article on, a financial analyst suggested that trouble with Chantix suicide lawsuits could cause a “publicity nightmare” for Pfizer.

The biggest pharmaceutical company in the world, Pfizer is also the manufacturer of Chantix, a smoking cessation drug that’s been linked with serious psychological side effects including depression and Chantix suicide. Chantix side effects also include Chantix heart attack, cardiovascular problems, blackouts and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

More than 2,400 people hire a Chantix lawyer

The analyst praised Pfizer’s overall fiscal performance and encouraged investors to watch the company as discussions of a split continue, but warned that the 2,400 pending lawsuits, including those alleging Chantix heart attack, could taint Pfizer’s reputation.

In these lawsuits, plaintiffs represented by a Chantix lawyer claim that Pfizer failed to warn consumers about the risk of Chantix depression that could lead to suicide. Plaintiffs also allege that the company failed to warn them about the risk of developing a Chantix heart attack.

While it’s unclear why Chantix may lead to suicide, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted that during one 18-month period, it received nearly 300 reports related to Chantix depression and suicide.

The more than 2,400 individuals who have hired a Chantix lawyer have had their cases joined into multidistrict litigation (MDL), which was established in the Northern District of Alabama to coordinate cases claiming damages for Chantix side effects.

MDLs are designed to address similar complaints brought by multiple plaintiffs against a shared entity. Bellwether trials for the MDL, in which plaintiffs will bring their claims of Chantix suicide and Chantix heart attack before a jury, are expected to start in October of this year.

Upcoming studies do not address Chantix suicide

While Pfizer is set to release new cancer research, the company has not indicated that it is pursuing research regarding the risk of Chantix depression and suicide.

Last year, the FDA examined two studies that showed Chantix use did not increase the risk of psychiatric hospitalization. Critics, including plaintiffs who have hired a Chantix lawyer, argue these studies fail to address psychiatric symptoms that occur in individuals who are not hospitalized.

Pfizer maintains that it has sufficiently warned consumers about the risks of side effects such as Chantix suicide or Chantix heart attack.