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Tracking the impact of drug regulatory actions: Consumer health outcomes, risk-benefit issues and policy framework


Women who had been prescribed a COX-2 prior to the September 2003 COX-2 discrediting event were selected from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Qualitative in-depth telephone interviews were undertaken with ten women from the mid-aged (born 1946-51) and 10 from the older-aged (born 1921-26) to explore women’s reactions to the withdrawal of Vioxx and issuing of safety warnings regarding other COX-2s. Reactions to the discrediting event were largely undramatic. Women sought information from their general practitioner and made treatment decisions with the general practitioner based on that information. The media was the key source of information of the withdrawal event. Women were sceptical of the long term use of prescribed medicine while they were happy to be using complementary and alternative medicines. Women were using multiple medicines to manage their arthritis five years after this event.