Arthritis drug side-effects:

One study estimated that 20,000 hospitalisations and 2,600 deaths each year could be linked to a group of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in rheumatoid patients. According to the FDA, "200,000 cases of gastrointestinal bleeding, with 10,000 to 20,000 deaths, occur each year due to the 68 million prescriptions of NSAIDs, used for arthritis.

The other category of drugs that reduce inflammation is the corticosteroids. Side effects include ulcers,

changes, wasting of muscles in arms and legs, and hair growth over face, and "moon" face.

Gold salts---Benefit over two thirds of patients but cause major side effects including kidney damage and blood cell problems that can cause serious bleeding.

Penicillamine----Can damage kidney and bone marrow tissue.

Cost: Estimated to be $10 billion

Opren, Tanderil, Butazolidin, Zomax, Flenac, Eraldrin, Ibufenac, Flosint and Suprol, are arthritic drugs given to hundreds of millions of people after being declared safe by animal testing. All were subsequently removed from the market as "dangerous" after causing many deaths.