Ala. Judge Preps for Thousands of Chantix Lawsuits

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A federal judge in Birmingham is overseeing at least 1,200 lawsuits involving pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and its stop-smoking drug Chantix.

Many of the lawsuits from smokers and their families claim the drug left them with a variety of psychological problems, including anxiety, aggressiveness and suicidal thoughts. The lead plaintiffs' attorney, Ernest Cory of Birmingham, says there are still about 1,000 lawsuits to be filed. He says it's a complicated case and doubts there will be a trial before 2012.

A spokeswoman for Pfizer, Victoria Davis, says the company acted responsibly and appropriately in the development of the stop-smoking drug. She says there is no reliable scientific evidence backing up the claims made in the lawsuits.

The lawsuits were reported Tuesday by The Birmingham News.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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