Total spend Q1, 2012: $26.7 million
Total spend Q1, 2011: $35.4 million
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Pfizer's anti-smoking drug Chantix has been popular. It grossed $720 million for Pfizer last year but has also created a boatload of legal problems. The company is defending against about 1,200 lawsuits that say the drug increases the risk of suicide and there should have been more warnings. The company is in the midst of a large-scale trial examining the risk of psychiatric trouble in Chantix patients, but it is not slated to be complete until 2017. After reviewing two studies that compared Chantix with standard nicotine replacement therapy, the FDA in October 2011 said those taking the drug were no more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric complaints than those using the patch. The agency, however, kept in place a "black box" warning about psychiatric side effects. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says an estimated 45.3 million people, or 19.3% of all adults in the U.S., are smokers, and smoking is responsible for 20% of deaths each year, suggesting that there remains a significant market for smoking cessation treatments.