Champix, also known as Chantix in the US, has been associated with an increased risk for suicide, suicidal ideation, depression and neuropsychiatric injury.
Patricia Clow, one of the lead plaintiffs in the case, filed suit on behalf of her late daughter, Heidi Clow, who committed suicide at the age of 22 after taking Champix for just a few months. Two other lead plaintiffs allege developing depression and suicidal thoughts after starting on the drug, in one case just days afterwards.
Champix became available on the Canadian market in April 2007. Since September 2009, Health Canada has reportedly received 1,178 reports of adverse reactions to the drug. In July 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that Champix would have to carry its strongest safety warning over side effects, prompted by reports of similar adverse events.
The class action alleges that Pfizer Inc, and Pfizer Canada Inc, "knew or ought to have known of the risks of this drug before ever marketing it in Canada, and that they failed to adequately warn Canadians of these risks. It is further alleged that the warning labels for the drug remain inadequate to this day given the serious risks of injury and death linked to this drug."