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, – Two issues arise from Vol 22, No. 5. The article by John Tiller 'The new antidepressants - clinical applications' (Aust Prescr 1999;22:108-11) omits reference to sertraline as an agent approved for treatment of panic disorder. Panic disorder has been an approved indication for sertraline since December 1997.

In the article by Eve Hurley 'Assessing the statins' (Aust Prescr 1999;22:114-7) the self-test question 8, about primary prevention, correctly answered as 'true', could amount to less than the 'whole truth'. I suggest it would be more accurate to say that, based on studies reported to date, there is more evidence of benefit from statins in secondary prevention than there is in primary prevention (i.e. three trials versus one published to date). The statement offered is too absolute, and might get a pharmaceutical company into trouble with the Code of Conduct Committee if offered for promotional purposes.

M.M. Lawrie
Director, Medical Affairs
Pfizer Australia
West Ryde, N.S.W.