The golden age of COX-2 inhibitors is over. Vioxx (produced by Merck) was recently pulled from the market due to its increased cardiovascular risk. Bextra and Celebrex (produced by Pfizer) have also been found to increase cardiac events. The COX-2 inhibitors were no more efficacious than the non-selective nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, naprosyn, etc) but did have a lower risk of GI bleeding.
It would be interesting to see an analysis of the mortality rate expected from taking a nonselective NSAID (such as ibuprofen-advil) for a year versus taking Celebrex for a year. In other words, would more people be expected to die from ibuprofen-induced GI bleeds than Celebrex-induced GI bleeds and heart attacks?
Of course, ibuprofen vs. Celebrex is not the only option. Ibuprofen can be combined with one of the proton pump inhibitors (Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid) to significantly lower the incidence of GI bleeding. I expect to see the stock price of AstraZeneca (Nexium) and Procter + Gamble (Prilosec) rise in the next few weeks.