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Effectiveness -- Louis J Sheehan


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Initial post: Jan 17, 2008 3:35:44 PM PST
The effectiveness of 12 popular antidepressants has been exaggerated by manufacturers' selective publication of favorable results, researchers asserted in a new review of unpublished data that were submitted to the Food and Drug Administration.

As a result, the review concludes, doctors and patients are getting a distorted view of the effectiveness of blockbuster antidepressants like Wyeth's Effexor and Pfizer Inc.'s Zoloft. The review was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.


A review of research submitted to the FDA:
* Of 74 studies reviewed, 38 were judged to be positive by the FDA. All but one were published, researchers said.
* Most of the studies found to have negative or questionable results were not published, researchers found.
Source: The New England Journal of Medicine

Since the overwhelming amount of published data on the drugs show they are effective, doctors unaware of the unpublished data are making inappropriate prescribing decisions that aren't in the best interest of their patients, according to researchers led by Erick Turner, a psychiatrist at Oregon Health & Science University. Sales of antidepressants total about $21 billion a year, according to IMS Health. Louis J Sheehan
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