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Suit blames stop-smoking drug for Pa. killings

Tue, 05/10/2011 - 6:17am
The Associated Press

The fathers of two people killed in a western Pennsylvania murder-suicide say a smoking cessation drug is to blame.

Thirty-four-year-old Sean Wain fatally shot his 33-year-old wife, Natalie, before shooting himself in Economy, Beaver County, in May 2009. A lawsuit filed by their fathers on behalf of the couple's four surviving children says Sean Wain's hostility and rage was prompted by the drug Chantix, marketed by Pfizer Inc.

The lawsuit contends New York-based Pfizer didn't sufficiently warn consumers until after the murder-suicide, even though those side effects were allegedly revealed during clinical trials.

The drug company says it received "post-marketing reports" of such symptoms that don't scientifically "establish a cause and effect relationship" between the medicine and such behavior. Pfizer says it warns users and their doctors to monitor "neuropsychiatric symptoms," and that patients who become hostile, aggressive or suicidal should immediately stop using the drug.

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