Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Bisphosphonates and cancer

Two studies, same data source, two answers

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 26 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5980
  1. Frank de Vries, assistant professor1
  1. 1Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Netherlands
  1. f.devries{at}

Various studies have used the UK General Practice Research Database (GPRD) to evaluate the same side effects of drugs, often with opposite conclusions. Examples include third generation pills and venous thromboembolism; proton pump inhibitors and fracture1; and oral bisphosphonates and gastrointestinal cancers.2

Only rarely have GPRD data been reanalysed to find out why results vary …

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