18 January 2008

Unfavorable drug tests buried or changed

Hard to believe, isn't it? And yet Reuters reports that an Oregon Health Sciences University study shows that nearly a third of anti-depressant drug students are never published. Evidently because they showed the drug was ineffective.

Perhaps it's just a coincidence that most of the unpublished studies show that the drug being tested didn't work. It could be information that your physician didn't need to know anyway. We all know that a positive attitude can work wonders.
Of the 74 studies that started for the 12 antidepressants, 38 produced positive results for the drug. All but one of those studies were published.

However, only three of the 36 studies with negative or questionable results, as assessed by the FDA, were published and another 11 were written as if the drug had worked.
Wait a minute. Rewritten as if the study showed success?

To name names:
  • GlaxoSmithKline's Paxil -- 7 negative studies; 5 never published
  • GlaxoSmithKline's Wellbutrin SR -- 3 studies, 2 of them negative, neither ever published
  • Pfizer's Zoloft -- 5 studies, 3 of them negative and never published; a 4th, questionable one (in the FDA's opinion) written and published with the inference that the drug worked

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