Pfizer Limited has launched the non-nicotine smoking cessation prescription drug Champix in India. The varenicline tartrate product christened as Chantix in US will be marketed through 600 smoking cessation clinics set up by the company in partnership with physicians across 17 cities in India

Pfizer Limited will initiate a 12-week Champix prescription course and will provide support to the customers through the Champs Club support programme that together will help smokers to overcome their addiction. Champix is the first non-nicotine based prescription drug for smoking cessation getting approved by US FDA in the last 10 years.

The distribution of the product, which has dual mechanism of action on nicotine receptors to reduce nicotine craving and to suppress the sense of pleasure from smoking, is restricted to 17 cities for better results, informed Kewal Handa, MD, Pfizer India in a press conference.

Research on the product shows that the odds of quitting smoking on Champix is twice than that of buproprion, product manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline Pharma in the name of Zyban, and four times that of placebo, said Dr Anjan Chattergee, medical director, global product team, Pfizer Inc. He also said that the allegation on the increased psychiatric problems related to the drug is not correct, as these withdrawal symptoms are regular in any type of smoking cessation.