Company news from the 06/13/06 News Brief

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Pfizer publicly defended itself against claims made in the personal injury lawsuits of two men claiming the use of the drugmaker’s cholesterol medicine Lipitor caused them memory loss and nerve damage. In a news release issued late last week Dr. Michael Berelowitz, Pfizer Worldwide Medical, said “To create undue concern and doubt about Lipitor is a real disservice to health care professionals who prescribe Lipitor and the patients who depend on Lipitor to reduce heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the US and around the world.” The two lawsuits were filed Wednesday in New York State Supreme Court on behalf of Charles Wilson, 60, an insurance executive from Atlanta and Michael Mazzariello, a 47-year-old New York attorney. In his suit, Wilson charged that Lipitor caused his memory loss, nerve damage and bouts of fatigue. Mazzariello claims his Lipitor usage caused him to suffer debilitating injuries to various muscles, forcing him to walk with a cane and endure repeated hospitalizations. A Pfizer spokesman said in published reports earlier in the week that the company would vigorously challenge in court all claims in the lawsuits. Lipitor was the world’s biggest selling prescription medication last year with global sales of $12 billion.
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