The Truth about Antidepressants
Dr. Jimmy Steger
Seems like most Americans these days have bought into the lie that taking some form of pill can solve any and all emotional or mental issues. If only it were that easy! And every time I try to give people a good dose of the truth, they point to one pharmaceutical study or another that tries to prove me wrong. Well at least some of them, well check this out.
According to new research from Stephen Wisniewski, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, antidepressants are only effective in a small percentage of patients with a narrow range of psychological disorders. Patients with multiple issues -- which can be as many as 60 percent of the psychiatric patients in the U.S. -- may not be getting any benefit at all from antidepressants.
How's that for depressing news? It gets worse. This new study showed how big pharmaceutical companies may pump up the efficacy results of the drug trials for their antidepressants.
Wisniewski's team examined data compiled in a massive, government-funded review of more than 40 psychiatric facilities. This study, known as the "Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression" ("STAR*D" for short), is a picture of nearly the entire population of depression patients in the U.S.
Researchers compared STAR*D patients to a group of subjects for a standard antidepressant drug trial conducted by a pharmaceutical manufacturer (the trials that the FDA commonly reviews as part of the approval process for new medications).
As it turns out, the parameters for joining a typical antidepressant drug trial were so narrow that just 22 percent of the patients in the STAR*D survey would qualify to be part of the trial.
This means that the pharmaceutical companies tests its antidepressants using patients who fall within a very small range of depressive symptoms... and then markets these same drugs to EVERY depression patient in the country.
Wisniewski said that "current efficacy trials suggest a more optimistic outcome than is likely in practice." Let's cut to the chase here. What he's really saying is that Big Pharma is gaming the system to get new SSRIs approved by the FDA.
Of course he's too afraid to come right out and say that. Instead, he said that he doesn't intend his new study to be a smoking gun that proves the pharmaceutical industry is intentionally taking problematic patients out of the testing mix to get better efficacy results. He might not have "intended" it, but that's exactly what he did. And it's about time.
"If the population in a [clinical] trial were more representative, it would come at a cost," Wisniewski says. "That's why trials to determine efficacy are done on a relatively homogeneous population."
Well, he's right about one thing -- experimenting with drugs does come at a cost. Either it'll cost the deep-pocketed drug companies a few bucks, or it'll cost you your health.
So which one would you choose? How about God’s Medicine, which is all natural and will not harm you, that is the one for me.
Until next time, Stay Healthy!
Dr. Jimmy Steger