The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.
Letter to the editor
Editor, -The article on glucosamine (Aust Prescr 2004;27:61-3) understated a couple of points. Firstly, that 'both trials were sponsored by the Rotta Research Laboratorium and used that company's formulation of glucosamine sulphate'. Surely this implies some considerable bias. Secondly, because no glucosamine product in Australia has an AUST R rating by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, does this not also imply that the products in Australia may be subject to qualitative and quantitative variations to the product studied and therefore may not produce the same or any therapeutic effect? This point is implied by the author who states 'this formulation may differ from those available in Australia'.
While glucosamine may have a unique mechanism of action, is this not thrown into doubt by the 'poor correlation between structural and symptomatic responses'? Regardless, where are the well-designed comparative trials necessary to show that glucosamine is better than standard therapy? Previous comparative trials were poorly designed, of short duration and involved small numbers.
Bunbury Regional Hospital