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Study Says Celebrex Could Cause Heart Problems; Holiday Movie Fare

Aired December 17, 2004 - 10:30   ET


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And we welcome you back. It's now 30 minute after the hour. I'm Rick Sanchez.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Betty Nguyen, in today for Daryn Kagan. I've got a lot to tell you about. Here's the stories now in the news.

The drug manufacturer Pfizer says a new study finds an increased risk of heart problems for people taking the popular painkiller Celebrex. We'll have much more on this developing story a little bit later, actually in just a few minutes.

A gunman in California's Crystal Cathedral is dead. Police in Orange County says a church employee who fired shots into the cathedral yesterday has shot and killed himself. Police spent much of the night searching through the church complex trying to find him.

A grizzly murder and mystery in Skidmore, Missouri. A pregnant woman was killed, and her 8-month-old fetus was cut from her womb. Authorities say the baby may have survived that brutal crime. Police have issued a statewide Amber Alert.

A Maryland security guard faces arson charges after 10 new homes burned last week. Aaron Speed was among those hired to watch over a new housing development south of Washington. You see it here. He's scheduled to appear in a Maryland federal court today to face charges stemming from that fire.

And Afghan troops are battling to end a prison standoff in Kabul. Afghan forces fired rocket-propelled grenades and small arms on an assault on the prison. Reports show four inmates overpowered and killed a guard yesterday, then used the guard's weapon to kill others. Two of the four were killed, but the other two have been firing randomly at security personnel surrounding that jail.

SANCHEZ: Let's get to our other big story now, and it involves Celebrex. It's a pain killer. It's made by Pfizer, and the word is that it could cause heart problems.

Elizabeth's here, Elizabeth Cohen, trying to break this down for us. What are they saying?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pfizer is announcing results of two studies today. So let's take a look at what these results said. The first study was done by the National Cancer Institute, and it found people who were taking Celebrex have a two and a half times higher risk of having some kind of major cardiovascular event. That's the word they use. When you hear that, you think two and a half times higher risk of having a heart attack or having a stroke. Now there was another study done by Pfizer itself, which, of course, makes Celebrex. That study found no increased risk of major cardiovascular event.

Now Pfizer says they have shared the results of these two studies with the Food and Drug Administration. It will be interesting to see if the FDA urges Pfizer to take this drug off the market.

Now Vioxx is another drug that of course we've been hearing a lot about. Vioxx and Celebrex are very similar. The same class of drug. They're both called Cox-2 inhibitors. Vioxx was taken off the market in September because of concerns that it was making people have heart attacks. So it will be interesting to see what happens with Celebrex.

NGUYEN: OK, two studies, two different findings. That's a little confusing.

COHEN: Right. It is a little confusing, and there are a couple of explanations. Here are two thoughts on it. One, in the National Cancer Institute study, patients were taking the high dose and the low dose of Celebrex, both doses that people take out in the real world. They were taking the higher dose and the lower dose. In the Pfizer study, which found no problems, they were only taking the lower dose. That is one explanation.

Now some people will say, some people who have been critical of drug companies will say, well, gee, it's the company's own study that found no problems. How was that study designed? How many people were involved in that study? Those are all things that will be interesting to hear about it.

SANCHEZ: So if you're watching on television and you're taking this Celebrex, what do you do? Stop taking? Call your doctor?

COHEN: Call your doctor. You never want to just stop taking a drug that your doctor has prescribed to you, unless it's been pulled off the market. Celebrex has not been pulled off the market. You might want to talk to your doctor. And you might want to talk about dose, because again, the study with the problems people were taking the high dose, and also there were people in the study taking the low dose, so you definitely want to talk to your doctor about that. And of course, it's, you know, it's used for pain. There are a lots of other options out there for pain.

NGUYEN: All right, consult your doctor.

COHEN: That's right.

NGUYEN: Elizabeth Cohen, thank you.

SANCHEZ: There's no question this story is going have a medical impact, but it's also financial.

COHEN: And a business impact, yet, because stock of Pfizer has been halted so far today.


NGUYEN: We also have a whole lot more to tell you about this morning, including that new national intelligence bill that has been signed into law today.

SANCHEZ: And we've got some family members who are going to be talking us to, in fact, family members on both sides of this particular position, or two positions on this bill. We'll have it for you. Stay with us.


NGUYEN: For those who lost family members on 9/11, today's signing was bittersweet. One victim's daughter who supported the bill talked with CNN's AMERICAN MORNING.


CARIE LEMACK, DAUGHTER OF 9/11 VICTIM: Those 19 terrorists who killed my mother and 3,000 other people were given licenses because they had valid visas. They shouldn't have been issued the visas. So it starts with intelligence and finding out who are the bad guys and who the not bad guys. The good people should be allowed into this country, it's a country built on immigration, built on people coming to our land. But the bad people are the ones we have to keep out and that's where intelligence comes in.


NGUYEN: OK, so here's the question that a lot of people are asking today. Will the law prevent another 9/11? Robert McIlvaine lost his son Bobby at the World Trade Center and he is with us now from Philadelphia. Thanks for joining us today.


NGUYEN: Well, let's talk about this bill. You're not thrilled about it. Why?

MCILVAINE: I'm not the least bit. Well, I've been trying to think of an analogy and I came up with -- we've all had root canal work and to me it's going into the dentist with a sore tooth and he puts a crown on it and say leave. Well, to me you're not getting to the root of the problem.

NGUYEN: What is the root of the problem, then? You say it's too broad. So what is the root of the problem?

MCILVAINE: Right, the root of the problem is that I went through the 9/11 Commission report and I talk a lot on this problem. Page 376 of the 9/11 Commission book, they talk about the Cold War and us supporting repressive regimes for short-term gains but not understanding the long-term consequences. And they said -- and actually say that foreign policy is one of the problems. Yet, in that same paragraph, they also say not that we did anything wrong. Then on page 377, they talk about we must get back to the old Cold War ideal where we will vigorously protect our values and our ideals, as we have done in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And my main problem with this is we supported a tyrant through the '80s. We supplied the weapons of mass destruction, we supplied biological weapons. Afghanistan in the '80s, we trained these people how to be terrorists. We supported them with billions of dollars of arms. The Taliban come in the '90s, we support them. It was a horrible, horrible regime, yet this is the things that we have to talk about. These are the things that are happening constantly.

NGUYEN: So is it accountability that you have an issue with?

MCILVAINE: I have a monumental problem with accountability. I mean, as far as I'm concerned, no one's been held accountable for my son's death and I, you know -- that could take another six months to talk about. But I want to stick to that because in this commission, in this legislation, the CIA has now more power. They have to report to the new czar, but they are more independent and it's the CIA that's going around the world, we overthrow democracies because they're not part of our, quote, "economic scheme of things." And this is the major problem. We continually -- people throughout the world keep dying and we wonder why people hate us. Well, they don't hate us...

NGUYEN: Well, Mr. McIlvaine, some people will argue that this new bill allows all these different intelligence agencies to share information, to get to the root of the problem. So what would you like to see done instead?

MCILVAINE: What I -- well, we have to have an honest discussion about foreign policy. This is something -- what does anyone know about the CIA? Does anyone know how much money goes into CIA? Do we have any idea who they're assassinating, what countries they're overthrowing and this has to be dialogue. This is part of education. I think it's a long-term thing. Like I like going out to schools and talking about this. These are the connecting of the dots that killed my son. This is why my son's dead. It's not just because they hate America. It's just not because of Bush...

NGUYEN: So this doesn't bring any type of closure at all for you.

MCILVAINE: None whatsoever. None whatsoever.

NGUYEN: Robert McIlvaine. We are out of time. We appreciate your insight today. Thank you much -- Rick.

SANCHEZ: Let's bring in Don Goodrich now, he also lost a son during 9/11 and he's good enough to join us now to share his perspective. From what we understand, Mr. Goodrich, you have a different perspective from Mr. McIlvaine's. He seems to be saying, look, the problem is we're fermenting problems all over the world that then come back to haunt us. How do you disagree with him, if you do?

DON GOODRICH, BOARD CHMN. FOR FAMILIES OF 9/11: I don't really have a different perspective, it's a question of focus and energy. It's my view that we had to change in our intelligence superstructure in this country in order to bring it into an era when those who would do us ill are a completely different kind of enemy and I believe this legislation does that.

SANCHEZ: How does it do this, in honor of your son who died who I know you must think of daily? You look at this legislation, you think back to him, you think you know what, this will make the difference? This is going to make sure that people don't die like Pete did?

GOODRICH: It will not make sure people will not die like my son did. It will help to prevent its occurrence. What's happened here today is the signing of a piece of legislation that's built on a foundation laid by the commissioners and right now we just have a framework. That framework has to be flushed out with good people focusing their attention on the intelligence problems that brought about my son's death.

SANCHEZ: I bet you read a lot of this stuff and if you did, share with us what one thing or series of things frustrated you the most after 9/11 when you read some of the documents and realized there were things that perhaps weren't done.

GOODRICH: You can't focus a single thing. It was obvious to me that there was a need for serious discussion about the way in which our government deals with the issue of terrorism. It's exceedingly complex and takes an enormous amount of intellectual energy to create the tension that we've seen created in the past 18 to 20 months of ideas to bring about the sorts of changes that I think are embedded in the legislation that the president signed today.

SANCHEZ: Are you confident that this administration is fully behind this new law and will make sure that it really brings to fruition the things that people like yourself or the rest of the country is looking for?

GOODRICH: I believe that a healthy sense of cynicism is a good thing and I am going to be here going forward to make sure that the building that was framed out today gets all of the accoutrements it needs to assure that going forward, the people of this country are safer than my son was.

SANCHEZ: And before we let you go, I just think it'd be appropriate for you to tell us a bit about your son. Would you do that for us?

GOODRICH: Yes. He was very intellectually curious young man. He was 33 years old, a computer programmer, developer, chess player, entomologist. He had read the Koran, his wife has the book darts on the pages that were of interest to him. He was enormously curious and a man of peace.

SANCHEZ: What a shame. Don Goodrich, God bless you. Thanks so much for being with us, sir. We appreciate...

GOODRICH: You're welcome.

NGUYEN: We're going to get a check of your weekend forecast. That is coming up.

GOODRICH: Yes, and speaking of the weekend, "The Aviator" is just one of the new movies that's going to be out in theaters. Mr. Moviefone's going to be joining us in just a little bit and he's going to tell us all about Leo.



NGUYEN: All right. Perhaps during the mad dash to the mall this weekend, you'll want to relax and duck into a movie or two.

SANCHEZ: Yes, and the pickings are going to be ripe with plenty of new holiday films opening, and our Mr. Moviefone, Mr. Russ Leatherman, is joining us from Los Angeles with a sample of these.

Mr. Leatherman, what have you got?

RUSS LEATHERMAN, "MR. MOVIEFONE": Why are you talk like this?

SANCHEZ: I don't know. I just -- I like to play with you.

LEATHERMAN: I know. It happens. People talk to me and they automatically start talking like this.

But here's the deal, guys, it's such a great time of year for movies, not only do we have the big holiday releases, the blockbusters, but we have the smaller, terrific little films. So let's get and get started, because you're going to want to go to the movies this weekend for sure. Let's talk about "The Aviator," shall we?

NGUYEN: We shall.

SANCHEZ: Yes, talk about Leo -- Betty likes him.

NGUYEN: And throw some video up, would you?

LEATHERMAN: You know what? Leo, he's terrific in this movie. He stars as Howard Hughes. Cate Blanchett is in the movie as Katharine Hepburn, Kate Beckinsale. It's directed by Martin Scorcese. I really liked this movie. I thought it really captured the time period. I thought that Leo DiCaprio was terrific. I thought all of the acting was good. And Martin Scorcese at some point has to win an Oscar. I don't know if it will be for this movie, but I'd like to see him nominated. I thought it was terrific.

The only negative thing I have to say about is the movie is three hours long.

SANCHEZ: Wow. LEATHERMAN: So keep your empty bucket of popcorn candy, because you're not going to want to leave. You don't want to miss anything, if you know what I'm saying.

SANCHEZ: I always like asking you think because I've got a bunch of kids -- can I take my kids to this movie?

LEATHERMAN: Yes, no problem. I think they'll be fine with it, and it's terrific for everyone.


NGUYEN: What about "Lemony Snickets," though, because some people are saying it's a little scary for kids.

LEATHERMAN: Well, in the vein of the "Harry Potter" series, the movie's a little bit darker, it's based on the children's books. It stars Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep, Billy Connelly (ph), and it's a story of these three orphans who really, their house burns down, their parents die, and they go live with a string of really crazy relatives, Crazy Count Olaff (ph), played by Jim Carrey. I don't know about you guys. People seem to be either in the Jim Carrey camp or out of the Jim Carrey camp. I like him. I think he's terrific. I liked this movie. I didn't think it was fantastic, but definitely worth the price of admission.

I wouldn't take the tiny kids, I wouldn't take maybe 5-year-olds and under, because there is some scary stuff, some scary images, but this is a good movie. Take the family. You'll enjoy it.

NGUYEN: I want to ask you now if (INAUDIBLE) "Spanglish." That was Spanglish. That was a little Spanglsih...

LEATHERMAN: Which is like this movie. You're going to like it, and then you're not going to like it. The reviews for this movie are all over the board. It stars Adam Sandler, Tea Leoni, Paz Vega, who's really terrific in the movie, Cloris Leechman (ph), and it's a story of these immigrants who come to America and start working for this wealthy American family. They don't speak any English. They don't speak any Spanish, and that's where the comedy mayhem ensues.

Now the weird thing about this movie is if you're expecting a comedy, just a straight comedy, you're not going to get it. It's actually a dramady; it takes a very serious turn about the middle of the movie, and I think that's freaking people out a little bit. I don't think they know what to make of it, but if you know James O. Brooks movies, he tends to takes a serious turn every now and again.

I like the movie; other people hated the movie, so it's all over the board, but I think it's OK, and I like Adam Sandler.

NGUYEN: All right, Rush, let's quickly, "Million Dollar Baby," let's talk about this one, becausae I have actually heard that it will make grown men cry.

LEATHERMAN: I cried like a little tiny girl. It was unbelievable.


Clint eastwood is one of the great American directors, he just is, and he's a terrific actor, and just a spectacularly nice guy. The movie "Million Dollar Baby" also stars Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman. He plays a boxing manager. She shows up at his gym, he doesn't want to train her. He decides to take her, on and she changes his life forever. It's very powerful, very dramatic, and we will see an Oscar nod for sure, and I hope it wins something, because it's just a fantastic movie. Do not miss it?

SANCHEZ: Sounds good, Russ Leatherman, Mr. Moviefone, you little cry baby, you, thank you for being with us. I appreciate it.

LEATHERMAN: Have a great weekend, you guys.

SANCHEZ: Two big stories, Celebrex and possible heart problems associated with it. We'll have that, and of course the 9/11 reform bill passed, or signed, I should say, by the president.

NGUYEN: Coming right up. Stay with us.


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