Diclofenac, used for the treatment of pain and inflammation caused by arthritis, is associated with a significantly increased risk of cardiovascular complications and should be removed from essential–medicines lists.

It is listed on the EML of 74 countries, increased the risk of cardiovascular events between 38% and 63% in different studies. The increased risk with diclofenac was similar to the COX-2 inhibitor rofecoxib, a drug withdrawn from worldwide markets because of cardiovascular toxicity.

Dr David Henry at Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto who conducted the review along with Dr Patricia McGettigan at London School of Medicine and Dentistry said that its use is much more common in other non–Western countries.