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NICE guidance most relevant for cox-2s

We would like to raise concerns relating to a recent Pulse article which reported on a Health Technology Assessment of cox-2 inhibitors by the University of Birmingham1.

We believe the article is misleading, as the Health Technology Assessment, although recently published, does not reflect the latest evidence on the cost-effectiveness of cox-2 inhibitors, and only includes data up to 2003.

Furthermore, the article makes no reference to the NICE osteoarthritis guideline published in February2, which incorporated an extensive review of up-to-date evidence on efficacy and adverse events, current costs, and an expanded health economic analysis on the cost-effectiveness of cox-2 inhibitors and NSAIDs.

The conclusions of the NICE osteoarthritis guideline on the cost-effectiveness of cox-2 inhibitors2 differ substantially from the Birmingham Health Technology Assessment, and as the NICE guidelines reflect the latest evidence available, we believe that they are more relevant to current clinical practice.

Dr Sunil Raju, Medical adviser, Pfizer, UK

Dr David Gillen, Medical director, Pfizer, UK

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