Journalists have been contacting me today about a study (published online by Irving Kirsch, of the University of Hull in the UK, and others) that concludes that the new antidepressants—Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, and Serzone—confer very little benefit. The report is getting splashy play around the world—Google lists over 300 media reports, mostly abroad. One commentator, at a CBS News political blog site, has asked why the U. S. press has not shown more interest. Based on the phone calls, I suspect that we will get coverage here, but science writers who have given this new research a miss may simply have been showing good judgment.
Kirsch has obtained a full version of FDA data that he and others had already analyzed in partial form. (Those reports received a respectful response in the press here.) A recent New England Journal of Medicine article on published and unpublished FDA drug studies—it showed that trials with negative results rarely saw the light of day—used the same material; in fact, the Journal study covered more medications.
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