Why did GPs prescribe rofecoxib? A qualitative study of uptake of a new drug

Prosser, H 2006, 'Why did GPs prescribe rofecoxib? A qualitative study of uptake of a new drug' , Medical Sociology Online, 1 (1) .

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The first Cox-2 selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in the UK, rofecoxib (Vioxx), was launched in August 1999. However, in September 2004 it was withdrawn from the international market because of concerns about its cardiovascular safety. The objectives of this study were to explore GPs’ perceived risk of a new, innovatory drug (rofecoxib) and how this shaped decisions about prescribing and the processes of new drug adoption. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 107 GPs within 6 months of the launch of rofecoxib. Most GPs (63%) prescribed rofecoxib rapidly after its launch. Reasons for prescribing rofecoxib included: a perceived therapeutic advantage or gap in the market particularly in regard to safety, a high level of pre-launch awareness perhaps due to intense direct marketing, hospital prescribing and GPs’ attitudes to risk. There was a general optimism about its value, derived largely from commercial information sources or colleagues. Some GPs were concerned about the long-term safety of rofecoxib but were reassured by their general familiarity with NSAIDs. Specifically, the findings highlight the role of social and contextual factors in GPs’ perception and understanding of risk, and the various strategies they used to manage risk and uncertainty. Thus, the prescribing of rofecoxib can be situated and understood within a socio-cultural theoretical framework that reflects differing beliefs, values and experience in individuals’ constructions of risk.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Applied Research in Health, Welfare and Policy
Journal or Publication Title: Medical Sociology Online
Refereed: Yes
Depositing User: H Prosser
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2011 09:44
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2015 23:49
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/17482

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