We thank McCormack and Loewen for their interest and the opportunity to further discuss and clarify our results. They are concerned about a possible “increase in mortality,” particularly from cardiovascular causes, in patients without MS treated with bezafibrate on the basis of their cross-referencing subset analysis of our report1 and the originally published BIP study data.2 However, McCormack and Loewen had overlooked our statement in the “Methods” section that in our report “[t]he follow-up period for mortality registration lasted until March 2000 (mean ± SD, 8.1 ± 0.8 years; range, 4.9-9.7 years).”1(p1155) In contrast, in the originally published BIP study data, the follow-up period lasted until May 1998 (mean ± SD follow-up, 6.2 ± 0.8 years). This point was also clarified in the abstract and emphasized additionally in Figure 2B and its legend. We believe that McCormack and Loewen's erroneous “cross-referencing” comparison of the mortality data from the 2 different reports with the different follow-up periods has lead to a gross miscalculation and consequently to a proposed concluding statement that has no scientific validity. We present the actual mortality data for patients without MS in the Table.
Tenenbaum A, Motro M, Fisman EZ, Tanne D, Boyko V, Behar S. The Other Side of the Bezafibrate Infarction Prevention Trial Data—Reply. Arch Intern Med. 2005;165(20):2432. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.20.2432-a