Mobic, a painkiller that hundreds of thousands of arthritis sufferers turned to after the Vioxx recall, is potentially just as dangerous as other cox-2 inhibitors. That's the conclusion of veteran Food and Drug Administration (FDA) safety officer David Graham, who presented preliminary findings at an FDA conference reviewing safety risks of cox-2 inhibitor drugs. In September 2004, Merck recalled Vioxx after studies showed the painkiller doubled the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Since then, Pfizer's Bextra and Celebrex have been under scrutiny and now whistleblower Graham questions the safety of top-selling prescription arthritis painkiller, Mobic. Graham testified that the cardiovascular risks of taking higher does of cox-2 inhibitors compare to the dangers of smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes with evidence becoming more persuasive that they all increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Graham and his colleagues have been criticized for focusing too narrowly on the drugs risks and minimizing the benefits.