The road to consensus: considerations for the safe use and prescribing of COX-2-specific inhibitors

Agnes I Vitry and Eve Hurley
Med J Aust 2002; 177 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04959.x
Published online: 18 November 2002

To the Editor: Regarding the position statement about COX-2 inhibitors, we agree that openness about all potential conflicts of interest is the least we should expect from guideline developers, but this is not enough.1 Fifteen (65%) of the 23 members of the Australian COX-2 Specific Inhibitor Prescribing Group (including all eight of the rheumatologists involved) declared current financial links with Pfizer and Merck, Sharp and Dohme, the two drug companies marketing COX-2 inhibitors in Australia.2 The Prescribing Group can be viewed at best as a tight collaboration between some healthcare professionals and drug companies. At worst the statement published in the Journal can be seen as the "happy end" of a successful marketing campaign, which began some years ago with the enrolment of the most influential Australian rheumatologists to the advisory boards of the drug companies.3

  • Agnes I Vitry
  • Eve Hurley



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