Never Published Blind Studies on Depression Medications - Are your Antidepressants Working?
Portions of this article, copyright, Ira Marxe, all rights reserved
by N J Howell
Intro to off-label prescribing
Any business has to make money to stay in business and this is certainly true of the prescription drug industry. Are drug companies too vested in their own bottom line to ever present an unbiased full disclosure of prescription drug test results.
Note from Neva: One thing I've discovered recently, that I haven't seen mentioned in the long list of side effects for most drugs is the potential for developing nutritional deficiencies if taking drugs longterm. I can only hope that doctors discuss this fully with their patients at the time they prescribe what they know may be a drug they have the patient taking for the rest of their lives.
So many people place all their faith in drug company's double blind studies in making their decision on how best to cope with health problems. But can we really trust drug companies to tell us the truth about their studies? When many of those studies are never even published, how can the public really make an informed decision on antidepressants and their risks, or the health risks vs. benefits of any prescription drug?
Do Studies Prove Antidepressants Work?
In January, 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine published a scientific study on drug studies done on antidepressants. This scientific study noted that, out of the drug studies done on antidepressants which result in a negative report on the drug studied, about 1/3 of those never get published. This begs the question ... if 1/3 of the information needed to make a fully informed decision about your health when it comes to taking prescription anti-depressants are never published in medical literature and, if nearly all those omitted studies just happen to show that the drug being tested did not work, then how does the consumer ever get a clear picture of drug benefits vs risks? This is exactly the picture painted by the researchers who reported their findings in the afore-mentioned drug study research.
Equally disturbing in my mind is the information that, according to Erick Turner (Oregon Health and Science University), results unfavorable to the drugs used in several drug studies have been recast to make the medicine used in the study appear more effective than it may really be. Even if it is not deliberate, this type of minimilization or slanting of drug studies results can be bad news for patients, they wrote in their report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
For example, there have been 7 studies of the medicine Paxil, a GlaxoSmithKline drug, but only two were published; the other five were never published. The researchers found three studies for GSK's Wellbutrin SR, but the two negative ones never reached print. In similar fashion, there were 5 drug studies for Pfizer's Zoloft, but the three studies which showed Zoloft to be ineffective were not published. A fourth study on Zoloft, ruled questionable by the FDA, was written and published to make it appear that the drug worked.
One of the biggest drug frauds was revealed by Merck's being forced to finally release the scientific study done on Vytorin which Merck sat on for almost two years while raking in billions of dollars on millions of prescription sales.
What About Vytorin?
The FDA had approved Vytorin for lowering cholesterol and removing plaque and even though approved, no one really knew if the health benefits being reported were real, if Vytorin really worked, so Merck authorized a study. When Merck received the results of the study in April of 2006, Merck was unhappy with the results and instead of revealing the results to the FDA and the public, it sat on the report and did nothing. After a year, Merk tried to re-write the results, committing scientific fraud, to show favorable results.
When the scientific community got wind of this, they put up a big hullabaloo and Merck withdrew the changes. They again sat on the report and did nothing until threatened with a congressional investigation if they did not release the study. Merck was forced to release the study and here is what Steven Nissen, head of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, said,...
"This drug doesn't work. Period. It just doesn't work. ... In fact, the data on both the rate of progression of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events are trending in the wrong direction. This is a pretty clear failure. Physicians should now stop using ezetimibeT or VytorinT except as a last resort."
If is very plain that drug company scientific studies on their drugs, which the FDA relies upon, cannot be trusted. Drug companies are interested in how much money they can make and not your welfare no matter what the cost to you and release only studies that are favorable and bury the negative one. So much for honesty from Big Pharma! Ira Marxe
FDA investigation in 1998
Supplement for Health! Ira is a big proponent of nutritional support for healing. He feels, as do I, that the body is a marvelous creation, able to heal itself if given the right nutritional support. I agree with Ira on that. Focus on antiaging nutrition and supplementation for continued vitality into your 80's too. Ira Marxe is CEO of Good Health Supplements. GHS is dedicated to your good health offering you affordable, leading edge technology in anti-aging, cardiovascular, multi-vitamin and digestive nutritional supplementation and antiaging nutrition. Ask a Healer recommended
Health Disclaimer: If you are taking an antidepressant, and want to know if your doctor is prescribing off-label, just call your pharmacist. Most pharmacists are quite happy to talk with you about your prescription drugs. There are serious risks to reducing or abruptly stopping antidepressants so it is always advised that you speak with your doctor before making any changes to medication dosage.