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Fenoterol and asthma deaths

Abstract

Our article outlining the dispute over fenoterol safety has provoked letters both of acclaim and criticism. The manufacturer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, correctly pointed out that we had in several places misattributed the work of independent groups to the New Zealand Medical Research Council and the Asthma Task Force, which it set up. We apologise for these errors, but rather than publish a correction in the usual form we decided it would be more helpful to reprint the whole article highlighting the parts which have changed. Boehringer also criticised our selection and interpretation of the evidence and our conclusion. Our article emphasised the difficulty interpreting the data and the debate over the whole issue is still continuing. Our conclusion remains as stated here: 'while doubts about fenoterol remain unresolved, it seems wise to avoid using it'.

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