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Apr 13, 2021Liked by Steve Berman, Chris J. Karr

This reminds me of a similar furor back in 2004-5, when first Vioxx (Merck) and then Bextra (Pfizer) - powerful pain-relieving COX-2 selective inhibiting NSAIDS (which greatly reduce the typical adverse gastro-intestinal side effects of standard NSAIDS), were pulled from the market due to several cases of cardiovascular incidents - alleged to have been caused by the use of the products - which resulted in billion-dollar lawsuits (it was determined that the manufacturers had purposely hidden from the public the potential cardio-vascular risks of the their products). Ironically, later studies have shown that there are negative cardiovascular (CV) effects with not only the COX-2 inhibitors, but even the majority of other so-called "trusted" (OTC) NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen. Furthermore, recent studies comparing Celebrex (the sole COX-2 inhibiter NSAID remaining on the market, available by prescription only) with other NSAIDS have proven that there is NO DIFFERENCE in the CV event rates between the two types of NSAIDS; it seems that CV event rates are solely dependent upon dosage and duration. In conclusion, it is apparent that during the ensuing decade and a half, the tens of millions who have been suffering from severe osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as other acute and chronic pain conditions, have been denied the significant pain relief as well as the protection against gastro-intestinal issues that could have been provided by these two products (I myself had been using Bextra, and later Vioxx, for my osteoarthritis because I found them to be more effective for pain that the Celebrex, upon which I am now forced to rely), because of two unfortunate factors: (1) a negligent/fraudulent lack of transparency by the manufacturers; and (2) the subsequent (and typical) overreaction by the FDA, aided by the negative public perception generated by fear - a situation that may now have the potential of occurring regarding the J & J vaccine. It reinforces the truth of the old adage: "The more things (appear to) change, the more they stay the same."

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