Pfizer’s share price took a knocking yesterday after it revealed that the US Department of Justice and a group of state attorneys generals had asked for information relating to the safety of the company’s two COX-2 inhibitors, Celebrex (celecoxib) and Bextra (valdecoxib).

The world’s largest pharmaceutical company made the disclosure in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, but gave little else away. However, it did note that it has become the subject of several class action lawsuits from parties claiming they were injured as a result of taking the drugs, which have come under increased scrutiny in recent months.

Last week, a US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel, which had been assessing the safety of the COX-2 class of drugs after Merck & Co’s decision to withdraw Vioxx (rofecoxib) [[01/10/04a]], unanimously voted to keep Celebrex on the market [[21/02/05a]].