Did you know that “the powerful billion-dollar drug industry designs and interprets studies to suit their interests”? Drug companies can hand pick the trials or studies of a particular drug to be published. In fact, drug companies are not even required to publish their studies nor are the researchers that are hired to do the study. What this means for psychiatric drugs in particular is that drug companies will only publish the trials that make their drug look effective and safe despite any greater amount of information that indicates otherwise.
When a new drug is developed, one would think that a major percentage of the studies done would have to prove that the drug is effective and have a minimal amount of adverse side effects. That is not the way it works. The drug company conducts clinical trials and submits the information to the FDA. If one or two trials show the drug to be more effective than placebo, then it usually gets approved and the rest of the negative data is never published. Drug companies then publish those favorable studies for the medical profession to then read and conclude in error that a new “breakthrough” drug is now available for their patients.
Is it any wonder that there are so many psychiatric drugs on the market today causing horrific side effects, when all the drug company has to do is come up with a couple of trials where the drug was a bit more effective than the placebo? A review was done of seventy-four clinical trials of various antidepressants. Thirty-eight showed “positive” results and thirty-six showed negative results. With the exception of one trial, all of the “positive” results were published and thirty-three of the negative trials were either not published or were conveyed in a positive way. All these antidepressants were assumed to be effective when the results were truthfully almost fifty-fifty, but how would one know when the negative information is hidden?
In another case, using the Freedom of Information Act, four researchers obtained the results of all the clinical trials submitted to the FDA for the initial approval of six commonly used antidepressants. It was found that placebos were generally eighty percent as effective as the antidepressant so it was obvious that all six antidepressants were ineffective. However, only the favorable results were published so that the public and medical community were led to believe that these drugs do work.
One can conclude that antidepressants are not safe nor effective because drug companies don’t tell all. That is something to consider before taking a mind-altering antidepressant with significant adverse side effects.