A new study—”the most thorough to date,” writes the New York Times—shows that about a third of the studies for some of the market’s most successful antidepressants (Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor) were never published because they didn’t have favorable results. “While 94 percent of the positive studies found their way into print, just 14 percent of those with disappointing or uncertain results did.” The implication is that the makers of these drugs intentionally misled consumers and the federal government on their effectiveness.
Dr. Turner said the selective reporting of favorable studies sets up patients for disappointment. “The bottom line for people considering an antidepressant, I think, is that they should be more circumspect about taking it,” he said, “and not be so shocked if it doesn’t work the first time and think something’s wrong with them.”
For doctors, he said, “They end up asking, ‘How come these drugs seem to work so well in all these studies, and I’m not getting that response?’”
An industry spokesman claims that the findings are based on clinical trials completed before 2004, “and since then we’ve put to rest the myth that companies have anything to hide.”
Yes, now it is all settled—please buy more drugs.