University of Pennsylvania Should Rethink Over-Hyped Press Releases

Back in 2012, a press release was issued by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania which had profound medical implications for treating arthritic pain in patients with heart disease. Entitled “NSAIDs and Cardiovascular Risk Explained, According to Studies from the Perelman School of Medicine,” the release was quite damning about the use of a certain class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – the COX-2 inhibitors – not just in patients with cardiovascular (CV) risk but even arthritis patients without such risk. The COX-2 inhibitors in question were Pfizer’s Celebrex (generic name: celecoxib) and Merck’s Vioxx, the latter in fact having already been pulled from the market due to increasing the risk of heart attacks during extended use. Here’s what Penn had to say.

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