Adoption of celecoxib and rofecoxib: a nationwide database study
Version of Record online: 14 MAR 2005
Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Volume 30, Issue 2, pages 145–152, April 2005
How to Cite
Helin-Salmivaara, A., Huupponen, R., Virtanen, A. and Klaukka, T. (2005), Adoption of celecoxib and rofecoxib: a nationwide database study. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 30: 145–152. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2710.2005.00627.x
- Issue online: 14 MAR 2005
- Version of Record online: 14 MAR 2005
- Received 6 May 2004, Accepted 30 September 2004
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug;
- patient characteristics;
Background and objective: Cyclooxygenase 2-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, coxibs) are recommended primarily for patients at high risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, most of them being elderly. Our objective was to describe and analyse patient- and physician-related factors affecting the adoption of celecoxib and rofecoxib 2 years after their launch in Finland.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of the nationwide Prescription Register. Physicians who had issued at least 200 reimbursed prescriptions in 2002 (n = 12 033, 80% of working-age Finnish physicians) were involved in the analysis.
Results and discussion: Excluding patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), almost one-fifth (18%) of NSAIDs prescriptions were for coxibs. In patients with RA the share was 25%. The share of coxib prescriptions of all NSAIDs increased with age of the patient. Over one half (58%) of coxib prescriptions were issued for patients under 65 years of age. Specialists in physical and rehabilitation medicine were the fastest adopters of coxibs: one-third of their NSAID prescriptions in 2002 were for coxibs. Primary care physicians were the most conservative both in adopting and favouring coxibs.
Conclusions: Coxibs have gained the status of standard prescription NSAIDs within a few years. Their use should be restricted to patients who could benefit most from the use. Routine prescribing of expensive new drugs increases the drug bill without additional health gain.