In Reply: Dr Ferris and colleagues suggest that we incorrectly assumed that he and his coauthors, Dr Kirby and Dr Thal, were “uninvolved ‘guest’ authors ” and is critical that we did not contact him prior to publication of the article by Ross et al.1 However, had we contacted Ferris for such clarification, the available evidence would have confirmed our concerns. Although Ferris, Kirby, and Thal apparently were involved with various aspects of the Merck Rofecoxib 078 study, including reportedly assisting with study design, enrolling patients, and serving on the end point adjudication committee, it appears that these individuals had limited involvement as authors responsible for the manuscript.
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