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One of the main themes of the very successful EULAR Meeting in Glasgow was “Evidence Based Rheumatology”. Also prominent at the meeting were pharmaceutical companies promoting COX 2 inhibitors. Much of this promotional activity, some of which was supported by academic speakers, was for the use of these agents in osteoarthritis. However, the evidence base does not support the use of anti-inflammatory agents in osteoarthritis1 2 and current guidelines on the management of this disease suggest the use of simple analgesics rather than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).3 Some years ago, we showed that publications on NSAIDs were dominated by comparative studies of different NSAIDs, rather than more necessary studies, such as comparisons between NSAIDs and simple analgesics4; sadly, the appearance of a new class of NSAIDs does not seem to have led to any change in the type of trial being sponsored by the industry. How can we justify holding a large international meeting with an evidence based theme, while including a large amount of information that runs counter to the available evidence?
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