Friday, January 29, 2016

This Week In Clarkland...That Thing I Cannot Not Find.



Friday, 6pm: See Update at bottom of post...

Pursuant to the following previously commented upon New Year's day report from the good Mr. Tom Fletcher of the Black Press:

The B.C. government's quit-smoking assistance program is now available to people who drop by a pharmacy to qualify for free nicotine replacement products...


....The program also covers 12 weeks of prescription drugs Zyban or Champix, with cost depending on coverage under the Pharmacare program. Details are available here or from your doctor.

How come I, as a citizen of British Columbia can find no 'drug decision summary' or 'evidence report' for 'Champix' on what I take to be the appropriate the BC government website?

Why do I ask?



You know.

Update: Thanks to an Anon-O-Mouse in the comments, due to 2015 FOI request now have a copy of the BC Gov's 2011 review...Will compare to US FDA's 2011 decision...More to come...



Grant G said...

You know, we know, any thinking person knows what this is about...Big pharma and political donations to the BC Liberal party.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

RossK said...

Thanks very much Anon-Above--

But that FOI response only deals with the state of the review/summary as of 2011. Given subsequent events, I would very much like to see a summary of the work that was done AFTER the firings, either by the provincial or the federal governments as per the linked-to VTC editorial from November 2014 which included the following passage:

"...The agency was partway through an investigation of Champix when the provincial Health Ministry yanked its funding and halted the study.

The funding was later restored, but the ministry hasn’t allowed the Champix study to continue. Ironically, it was the Therapeutics Initiative that first raised questions about Vioxx.

The government’s response is that a federal agency is already reviewing Champix. However that study, once again, will build on pre-market trials..."



Lew said...

It’s easy to see how a diligent researcher would run into severe opposition if he or she were to independently conclude Champix was a bad idea after the denizens high and low in the Ministry of Health had spent several years working with Pfizer on the plan.

“Hi Folks,
Chris Smith of Pfizer came in on Friday to discuss a variety of things. I suspect that most of the items he raised were already discussed in your recent meeting with him and Bob Dawson, but for some reason, he seemed inclined to touch upon each file again with me.
He dropped off three binders with info on varenicline(Champix) that he felt would respond to Eric’s request for more info. Sarah will be dropping these off for each of you. Chris wants to set up a 2-3hr meeting in January with us all to discuss Champix with him and several of his colleagues that would fly in for what he calls a “deep dive” to learn what BC needs before Champix can be listed.”

Who is driving the bus here on this approval??

“Option 2 recommended:
Pro: Consistent with the Premier’s announcement and expands treatment options.
Con: The Ministry will incur estimated budget impact.”

Any pros or cons regarding patient safety??

“We want to be careful in this, as it wouldn't look good if varenicline were to be withdrawn from the Canadian Market after we defend its safety.”

Is looking good the goal, or is it patient safety? How about being careful by doing a proper investigation of the potential harm so you don’t have doubts??

RossK said...


Thanks for digging into the FOI response.

The timing of 2011 decision by the BC Govt and the original 'black box warning' from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are most interesting...More to come.


Anonymous said...

Sorry the FOI wasn't exactly what you were looking for. Found this link to Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network (DSEN). Lake referred to them in his response -

DSEN - 2nd from the bottom is Champix etc

Lake also said Champix had already been reviewed by the Drug Benefit Council - I don't see it list (Though may not be a complete list)

They sure don't make it easy to find this stuff.


Bill said...

Friday night Holy Smoke... Grant, Anon-Above, and the amazing Lew's FOI digging.

When will the Christy-Lib MSM or police admit to the 'smoking guns'?

Well done Ross, looking forward to your follow up(s).

RossK said...

Thanks Karen!

In retrospect the 2011 thing is invaluable as it gives a timely comparison to the FDA recommendations.

And thanks for all the extra digging!


'Tis amazing isn't it Bill.


Anonymous said...