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Cover Up of Negative Effects of Paxil, Zoloft and Effexor
February 6, 2004

Health Supreme

According to an article in the Washington Post, the makers of popular antidepressants such as Paxil, Zoloft and Effexor have refused to disclose the details of most clinical trials involving depressed children, denying doctors and parents crucial evidence as they weigh fresh fears that such medicines may cause some children to become suicidal.

Apparently the drug makers are free to keep data hidden contravening, if not the letter of the law, the spirit of scientific transparency. Negative findings have a much harder time making it into the public record than those that are "favourable", meaning those that cover up negative effects of the drugs. "Conflicts of interest and the company control of the data have thrown out the scientific method," said Vera Hassner Sharav, a critic of the drugs and a patients' rights advocate. "If hundreds of trials don't work out, they don't publish them, they don't talk about them." "We need a journal of negative findings," agrees Darrel Regier, director of the American Psychiatric Association's division of research, who believes the drugs save children's lives. "The probability of those negative findings being published is far less than the chances of positive studies -- even journals are not interested in negative studies."

Of course there are alternatives to the controversial SSRI antidepressants. The currently ongoing Optimum Nutrition for the Mind conference in London is all about using nutritional intervention instead of drugs. It should prove interesting, and I hope to have a further report on it soon. La Leva di Archimede has a delegation attending. Jon Rappoport of made some pertinent comments to the Washington Post story, which I would like to offer here as a little stimulous to start looking.... (2/2/2004 2:47:47 PM)



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