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Comment & Response
August 2017

Facts Concerning Duexis Prescribing Habits Related to Combination Therapies

Author Affiliations
  • 1Horizon Pharma, Lake Forest, Illinois
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(8):1227. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.2457

To the Editor In their Viewpoint about high prices for drugs with generic alternatives specifically citing Duexis (Horizon Pharma) published in a recent issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Hakim and Ross1 omitted important facts about Duexis and physician prescribing habits related to combination therapies.

Although Hakim and Ross correctly noted that Duexis is approved for the relief of signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and to decrease the risk of developing upper gastrointestinal ulcers in patients who are taking ibuprofen for those indications, their Viewpoint1 created the misperception that the medication is a simple combination of 2 readily available medicines. In fact, Duexis is specially formulated to contain prescription strength ibuprofen and a protective core of famotidine at a higher dose because standard doses fail to provide gastric protection.2 The US Food and Drug Administration approved Duexis based on 2 randomized phase 3 clinical studies that enrolled more than 1500 patients.3

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