The researchers conducted a literature search to check whether the results of the studies reported by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had been published in medical journals. For trials that had been published they compared the published version of the results with the FDA version of the results.
What they found was that whether and how the studies were published depended on how they turned out. The research team found that according to the published literature, nearly all studies conducted (94 percent) had positive treatment results, but FDA data showed that in fact only about half (51 percent) of the studies were positive. Positive studies, with one exception, were all published. Most studies (33 out of 36) that were not positive either were not published or were published as if they were positive, in conflict with the FDA conclusions. These 33 studies involved 5,212 patients.
Dr Turner said that the selective reporting of favorable studies sets up patients for disappointment. ?The bottom line for people considering an antidepressant, I think, is that they should be more circumspect about taking it,? he said ?and not be so shocked if it doesn?t work? and think something?s wrong with them.?
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