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J Clin Pharm Ther. 2005 Aug;30(4):337-43.

Motivations and perceived influences on rural and urban general practitioners when prescribing conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or COX-2 inhibitors.

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School of Pharmacy, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.



Prescribers in rural and remote locations perceive that there are different influences on their prescribing compared with those experienced by urban prescribers. The aim of this study was to compare the motivations and perceived influences on general practitioners (GPs) when prescribing COX-2 inhibitors rather than conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) between rural and urban-based GPs in Queensland, Australia.


A questionnaire was administered to two geographically distinct groups of GPs, one urban (n=67) and one rural (n=67), investigating the reasons that the GP would prescribe a COX-2 inhibitor rather than a conventional NSAID or vice versa and also focusing on patients requesting a prescription for a COX-2 inhibitor.


A 51% response rate (n=68) was achieved. The difference between the rural and the urban GPs was that the urban GPs were more likely to perceive that they were influenced to prescribe COX-2 inhibitors by their patients' knowledge of these new (at the time) drugs. GPs in both the rural and urban areas perceived the COX-2 selective inhibitors to be safer than conventional NSAIDs, and that there was little difference in terms of efficacy between the two drug classes. However, GPs from both of the study areas stated that conventional NSAIDs were preferred over COX-2 selective inhibitors, primarily due to their expense, if their patients were not at risk for developing a GI bleed.


The motivations and perceived influences to prescribe a COX-2 inhibitor in rural and in urban areas of Queensland, Australia were very similar. Almost all surveyed GPs in rural and urban areas had patients request a prescription, or enquire about the COX-2 inhibitors. Urban GPs were more likely to feel pressured to prescribe a COX-2 inhibitor than their rural counterparts, agreeing with other research which found that patient pressure to prescribe appears to be greater in urban general practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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