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April 25, 2001

Raloxifene for Breast Cancer Prevention—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;285(16):2079. doi:10.1001/jama.285.16.2079

In Reply: I would like to clarify 4 points. First, Dr Plouffe charges that I make the unsubstantiated claim that physicians have already decided raloxifene is a better choice than tamoxifen for breast cancer prevention. In fact, several STAR recruiters stated this opinion. Second, the FDA did approve raloxifene in 1998, as indicated by an approval letter dated November 24, 1998.1 Third, while the FDA would not disclose whether Lilly had sought approval of raloxifene for prevention of breast cancer, it was reported in Forbes magazine2 and other media outlets that Lilly had pursued the drug for this indication. Finally, he is correct that raloxifene is not a "synthetic estrogen" but a "selective estrogen receptor modulator."