Spain tests anti-tobacco drug banned in France

Spain has been testing since the beginning of the month Todacitan, a drug that would make it possible to quit smoking in 25 days. The treatment is already authorized in around twenty countries, but not in France.

Initially, the drug will be reserved in Spain for heavy smokers (more than 10 cigarettes a day) who have already tried to quit in the past year and have a high level of dependence. The molecule used in Todacitan, cystine, has already been used in anti-smoking treatment for nearly 60 years in Eastern Europe. Several studies have proven its effectiveness and the side effects are minor. However, the treatment is not recommended for pregnant women and people with cardiovascular disorders.

If the drug is not offered in France, it is mainly because of its lack of profitability. In Poland, for example, the 25-day treatment would cost 15 euros, which is 9 times less than a month’s treatment with drugs like Champix. “The pharmaceutical industries are not interested in this molecule because it is not very profitable: its marketing in France would only generate low profits”, had entrusted in 2015 to the newspaper Le Figaro addictologist Henri-Jean Aubin, researcher at Inserm.

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