» Drug, Devices, and Supplements

» Physician Accountability

» Consumer Product Safety

» Worker Safety

» Health Care Delivery

» Auto and Truck Safety

» Global Access to Medicines

» Infant Formula Marketing


More Information on Celecoxib (Celebrex)

More information on meloxicam (Mobic)

More information on rofecoxib (Vioxx)

More Information on valdecoxib (Bextra)

Letter in the New York Times on Cox-2 Painkillers: Painkillers and Terrorism

This Letter to the Editor by Sidney Wolfe, M.D. appeared in The New York Times on Saturday February 26, 2005

To the Editor:

Re "F.D.A. Is Advised to Let Pain Pills Stay on Market" (front page, Feb. 19):

At the recent F.D.A. hearings about cox-2 drugs, Dr. Christopher Grubb, a captain in the Army Medical Corps, stated that the widespread use of these drugs in the military is "essential for our global war on terrorism."

Given the lack of evidence that cox-2 drugs are more effective than older pain/arthritis drugs and that they cause significant risks of heart attacks and other cardiovascular disorders, why is the military jeopardizing the troops' health by using these drugs, and why is the F.D.A. ready to leave Celebrex and Bextra on the market and even consider remarketing Vioxx?

The most conservative estimate for Vioxx, based on its four-fold increased risk of heart attacks compared with naproxen, is that it caused, annually, thousands of extra heart attacks, many fatal, with additional heart attacks caused by Celebrex and Bextra. A growing number of physicians are rejecting the use of these drugs because of their unique risks. Perhaps Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld needs to talk with military physicians.

Sidney M. Wolfe, M.D.
Washington, Feb. 19, 2005

Copyright © 2016 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.


To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.