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Arcoxia: Beware of This Vioxx-Like Drug on Market

September 28, 2006 | 6,832 views
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Merck's arthritis drug Arcoxia, developed in order to compete with Celebrex, may hold as many risks for the heart as the notorious drug Vioxx, according to FDA whistleblower David Graham.

Graham rose to national prominence two years ago when he informed a Senate panel that the FDA was "virtually defenseless" against a "tragedy and profound regulatory failure" like Vioxx.

In an editorial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Graham pointed out that Merck's study purporting to show that the risks of heart attack for Arcoxia were similar to those for diclofenac, an older arthritis drug, were seriously flawed.

The study design used, according to Graham, was "well-known to be especially poor at identifying safety risks between drugs, thereby stacking the deck in favor of [Arcoxia]." In addition, an analysis of previous studies shows that diclofenac raises cardiovascular risk as much as low-dose Vioxx, making the comparison between the two drugs deceptive.

A comparison with a drug that does not raise heart risks, such as naproxen, would have given a more accurate assessment of Arcoxia's risks.



Dr. Mercola's Comments:

When I posted news of Arcoxia, it was quite clear that it would be every bit as toxic as the similar COX-2 inhibitior that killed over 60,000 people, Vioxx.

Will the FDA forsake common sense and approve Arcoxia by willingly accepting misdirection and disinformation in the guise of science? Here's hoping rational thinking -- sparked by an avalanche of Vioxx lawsuits being fought in the courts -- will prevail.

Personally, I wouldn't count on the FDA to protect you. However, thanks to the testimony of Dr. Graham, a courageous physician working at the FDA, and a few others like him, it has become obvious that, as currently configured, the FDA is not able to adequately protect the American public. It's more interested in protecting the interests of the drug industry. It views the drug industry as its client, and the client is someone whose interest you represent.

My next book, Sweet Deception, has a large portion of it devoted to the fraud and deception that is going on at the FDA.

When the Prescription Drug User Fee Act came into play in 1992 the drug companies actually started to fund the FDA. I know it sounds like something straight from a science fiction novel, but I assure you that this is true. It is the classic case of the fox guarding the henhouse. How can you possibly trust a system in which the people who approve the drugs are also the ones who oversee the post-marketing regulation of the drug?

Most people have no idea that 80 percent of the resources at the FDA are geared toward the approval of new drugs and 20 percent is for everything else, including drug safety. The FDA's primary purpose is to get drugs approved, plain and simple.

If you do suffer from arthritis or any form of chronic pain, it would be wise to avoid any drugs, especially COX-2 inhibitors, for a solution.

Here are some safe, natural pain-killers:

Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.

Boswellia: Also known as boswellin or "Indian frankincense," this herb contains specific active anti-inflammatory ingredients, referred to as boswellic acids that animal studies have shown significantly reduce inflammation. This is one of my personal favorites as I have seen it work well with many of my rheumatoid arthritis patients

Bromelain: This enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful.

Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO): This oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a "joint lubricant" and an anti-inflammatory. I have also used this for myself to relieve ganglion cysts and a mild annoying carpal tunnel syndrome that pops up when I type too much on non-ergonomic keyboards. I used a topical preparation for this.

Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: These contain the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain. If you struggle with dry skin in the winter, it is a strong indicator that you are deficient in these fats.

Cayenne Cream: Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting the body's supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmits pain signals to the brain.

In addition, there are well researched alternative methods that can significantly reduce chronic pain if you are willing to put in the time.  A program I highly recommend is, Hypnosis: The Pain Solution (hyper link: http://www.hypnosisnetwork.com/hypnosis/pain_management.php ).

This program was created by Dr. Maggie Phillips, a leader in the field of mind/body pain management.  It will not work over night, but with practice it can be highly effective.


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