Treating Depression: Is there a placebo effect?
According to research by a Harvard psychologist, anti-depressants such as Zoloft and Prozac are no more effective than a placebo for many people – and the Food and Drug Administration allowed unrepresentative studies to influence the approval process. (Watch the video report at http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7399362n)
Irving Kirsch, associate director of the Placebo Studies Program at Harvard Medical School, used FOIA to obtain records of drug-company studies of anti-depressant medications which had not been published – and showed the medication’s effects were less pronounced than drugmakers insisted.
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Kirsch’s research, and the “60 Minutes” report, inspired a California woman to sue Pfizer over the failure of its anti-depressant, Zoloft, to treat her depression, despite three years of usage as prescribed (See “Pfizer disputes claim against antidepressant,” The Associated Press, 1/31/13, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/31/pfizer-zoloft-lawsuit/1881441/).
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