Survey Shows Orthopedic Surgeons View OTCs As An Effective Alternative to Prescription Medications -

For the millions of Americans who suffer from minor arthritis pain, specialists say an over-the-counter (OTC) treatment can be an effective alternative to prescription medication. According to new survey results unveiled today of more than 250 orthopedic surgeons, 70 percent of those surveyed say they recommend OTCs most often as a first line treatment option to their patients with minor arthritis pain.

The survey was conducted to measure how recent news about the safety of pain relievers has affected the way orthopedic surgeons recommend medications for minor arthritis pain. Orthopedic surgeons are specialists in the treatment of bone and joint disorders, including arthritis. The survey is a collaborative effort by colleagues at Florida Hospital, David D. Dore, M.D., Medical Director of The Joint Replacement Center at Celebration Health and James Rippe, M.D. of the hospital\'s Rippe Lifestyle Institute.

\"Given all the recent negative news, I think physicians are being more cautious about using prescription pain relievers that may increase their patients\' risk for serious health issues,\" said Dr. Dore. Almost all (90 percent) specialists surveyed report that they have decreased their use of COX-2 prescription medications and increased their use of OTCs.

A majority of orthopedic surgeons polled named Aleve as the most effective OTC medication to manage minor arthritis pain. Among this group, 91 percent named easy dosing with fewer pills as a top reason they believe Aleve to be the most effective OTC pain medication while 81 percent named long-lasting relief as a top reason.

\"I always tell my patients to start with an OTC medication and the results of the survey show that most orthopedic surgeons seem to agree,\" said Dr. Rippe. \"Furthermore, I think you\'d find similar results among other specialists who treat people with arthritis. No matter what their specialty, doctors are looking for the same thing when recommending pain medication -- efficacy and safety. Over-the-counter pain medications offer both.\"

Significant Survey Findings

* Nearly all - 82 percent - of orthopedic surgeons polled report that recent news about pain relievers has had an effect on the way they recommend pain medication for minor arthritis pain

* Based on experience, 97 percent of orthopedic surgeons surveyed believe OTCs can be an effective alternative to prescription medication to treat minor arthritis pain

* Evaluating the efficacy of each product, orthopedic surgeons ranked their preference for OTCs to treat minor arthritis pain:

-- 58 percent say they prefer Aleve
-- 35 percent say they prefer Advil
-- 7 percent say they prefer Tylenol

About Osteoarthritis The chronic disability and quality of life impact of osteoarthritis is of great public health importance. In 2001, 49 million American adults reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis; 21 million Americans are affected by degenerative joint disease, commonly known as osteoarthritis. As the U.S. population ages, this number is likely to increase dramatically. About 80 percent of people with osteoarthritis report some form of limitation in movement or activities and the condition is responsible for seven million physician visits per year.

About The Rippe Lifestyle Institute

Founded by James M. Rippe, M.D., The Rippe Lifestyle Institute is one of the leading research, communication and health promotion organizations in the world. Through research, publishing and partnering in health promotion and disease prevention projects, the various divisions and two locations of RLI are helping empower people to lead healthier lifestyles with the passion, commitment and performance that have made RLI a leading authority on lifestyle and health.

About The Joint Replacement Center at Celebration Health The Joint Replacement Center at Celebration Health is the 2005 recipient of the prestigious Premier Award for quality in the area of total joint replacement of the hip and knee. The center specializes in minimally invasive joint replacement and treatment of patients with osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis). David D. Dore, M.D. is a board certified fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in adult reconstruction of the hip and knee. Dr. Dore performs more than three hundred joint replacements annually.

About the National Omnibus Survey

In an effort to further patient education, Drs. Dore and Rippe are working with Bayer HealthCare\'s Consumer Care Division to help raise awareness about safe and effective treatment for minor arthritis pain with OTC medication. This survey was conducted by Caravan Opinion Research. These results are based on a telephone survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation\'s CARAVAN survey, June 16 - July 7, 2005, among a sample of 259 orthopedic surgeons. For results based on the total sample the margin of error is plus or minus 6 percentage points. For results based on smaller sub samples, the margin of error is larger.

Rippe Lifestyle Institute