Abbott Laboratories and Boehringer Ingelheim's jointly marketed Mobic saw sharp gains in new users in the days following Pfizer's April 7 withdrawal of Bextra.
Nearly 25 percent of former Bextra patients switched to Mobic in the week ending April 8, data from Verispan's Vector One showed. Bear Stearns analyst Rick Wise said in published reports that Abbott can expect a 165 percent growth in sales for Mobic now that Bextra has been eliminated from the arthritis market. Abbott licenses Mobic from Germany's Boehringer Ingelheim. Since the Bextra withdrawal, "We have stepped up our detailing and direct-to-physician efforts for Mobic," said John Yonsky, a spokesman for Boehringer Ingelheim.
"But we haven't done much with (consumer) advertising in a while."
Pfizer's Celebrex, the only remaining COX-2 drug remaining on the market, received 24 percent of the business previously held by Bextra by the end of the week of the withdrawal, the data showed.
Meanwhile, a study presented Monday at an American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Anaheim, cast doubt on over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers as a COX-2 alternative. The study found that smokers who regularly took popular OTC painkillers such as Aleve, Motrin and Advil, increased their chances of dying from heart-related problems.