Do Anti-Depressants Work?
This year has been particularly difficult for the makers of anti-depressant medications as studies questioning the effectiveness and validity of research into SSRI's has come into question. In January of this year, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing that research pointing to the ineffectiveness of anti-depression medication is either never published or given a positive spin.
A month later, researchers from the United Kingdom and the U.S., reviewed the data from the original trials of SSRI's such as Prozac and Paxil. They obtained unpublished Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data by using the Freedom of Information Act. They found that when unpublished clinical trials were considered along with published clinical trials, the effectiveness of these medications was not significantly better than a placebo or sugar pill.
Sales¬† of anti-depressant medication in the U.S. is big business. In 2007, sales totaled $11.9 billion.