Utilization Study Highlights Concerns About Appropriate Prescribing of<br> New Arthritis Medicines

Use of so-called “COX-2 inhibitor” medicines, approved to treat arthritis, acute pain and other disorders, has led one pharmacy benefits manager to recommend that physicians start patients who are not at risk for gastro- intestinal events on a generic “NSAID” such as naproxen or ibuprofen. According to an internal study conducted by Express Scripts, 74% of new COX-2 users had no evidence of being at risk for gastrointestinal adverse events, “calling into question the overall cost-effectiveness of their use in “real world” practice.” The data were released today at their 2002 Outcomes Conference.