Drug Companies Dope Their Research -- It's All Good!

Cartoon doctorThe pharmaceutical industry is using a novel technique to cheer up people who suffer from clinical depression -- only publishing favorable studies about the effects of its antidepressant medications. A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at 74 studies registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Of the 36 favorable studies, all but one was published. Of the 37 unfavorable studies, all but three were "either not published (22 studies) or published in a way that, in our opinion, conveyed a positive outcome (11 studies)." As Newsweek science writer Sharon Begley observes, "The result of this selective publication is no less than a distortion of science and -- since these are studies that drive what doctors advise their patients to do and what patients ask for -- a perversion of the biomedical system in which untainted results are supposed to benefit public health."