Not yet. Champix is the only brand name of the drug varenicline currently available in the UK or the EU. Champix was patented in 2006, and remains under patent until September 2021 in the UK/EU – in the USA it is patented until 2020 under the brand name of Chantix, so it cannot be legally sold until the patent expires.
But have we really been doing it wrong for 60 years?
The press reported this week that since the contraceptive pill was first launched – and this was 60 years ago! – we have all been taking it incorrectly! They also stated that one of the reasons behind this was to please the Pope!
Let’s try and put this medical conundrum into understandable terms, and try to prevent confusion!
Professor Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice for the Care Quality Commission (CQC), has said:
You should look for the CQC logo because some of these websites, if they are not regulated by the CQC, can be very, very dangerous.
We know that these websites can present convenient ways for people to access advice, treatment and medication.
However some services may be putting patients at risk. We are particularly concerned that risks to patients may not always be appropriately assessed or managed when they buy medicines online.
As with conventional GP surgeries, these online companies and pharmacies are required to provide safe, high-quality and compassionate care and must adhere to exactly the same standards. They must not cut corners.
We will continue to work closely with the other regulatory bodies to share intelligence where we have concerns and take action where necessary. Providers and clinicians must be clear on their responsibilities to protect people who use their services.