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When Vioxx became available in 1999, it was primarily aimed at relieving pain in people who were at risk of gastritis and ulcers when the consumed ibuprofen, naproxen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, Vioxx was quickly used for a much broader application with prescriptions given to people who had little risk of gastritis or ulcers. Thus, consumers and physicians need to think about what medication is most suitable for their particular situation. The same scenario has occurred with drugs for conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and some infections. Thus, consumers end up paying more for newer medications that don't necessarily deliver better health benefits and may instead pose health risks. A study showed that 73% of consumers that switched over to using cox-2 inhibitors had no good reason for doing so ie they had little risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Reasons for the changes are heavy advertising and the belief that newer drugs are better and safer.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Eurekalert
About: Vioxx tended not to be used by targeted group
Date: 22 January 2005
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