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CONCEPT provides robust evidence that chondroitin sulfate is superior to placebo and similar to celecoxib in the symptomatic management of osteoarthritis
  1. Jean-Yves L Reginster
  2. on behalf of CONCEPT Investigation Group
  1. Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Liege State University, Liege, Liege, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jean-Yves L Reginster, Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Liège State University, Liège CHU B23, Belgium; jyreginster{at}

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We are very grateful to our distinguished colleague for his constructive comments.1 However it seems that some keypoints of our study were grossly misunderstood.2 As clearly stated, the objective of the CONCEPT study was to confirm that chondroitin sulfate (CS) is superior to placebo (PLB) in the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis, with the addition of a Celebrex (CLB) arm, as requested by the European Medicines Agency, to provide an external validation and to better assess the relevance of the difference in pain relief observed between the CS and PLB arms. There was no intent to demonstrate a non-inferiority of CS versus Celebrex. In such a case, a non-inferiority margin for the comparison would be mentioned in the protocol, and the power calculation would be substantially different. The use of the word similar in describing Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Lequesne scoring …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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