Health insurance claims data were analyzed to assess changes in NSAID prescribing trends. The database comprised dispensing claims from a national retail pharmacy chain for a single insurance company in the northwestern and northeastern New York regions from April 1, 2004, through June 30, 2005. Forty percent of the 521,534 beneficiaries received their medications through this pharmacy chain, which used a tiered formulary.

We analyzed total prescription claims data, evaluating NSAID use and stratifying the analysis according to nonselective or COX-2-selective NSAIDs. We then examined prescription data for the six months prior to rofecoxib’s withdrawal (from April to September 2004) through the nine months following its withdrawal (from October to June 2005) to assess trends in prescribing patterns. Unless otherwise indicated, we used the average of the monthly data for the period April to September 2004 as the baseline for comparison with subsequent monthly data. It was not possible to track the over-the-counter NSAIDs. canadian pharmacy viagra