Public Misled by Drug Trial Claims

Experts are warning that doctors and patients are being misled about the effectiveness of drugs, because negative trial results are not published. An article in the British Medical Journal argues that drug companies should be forced to publish all data, not just positive findings.

An example given was Pfizer’s antidepressant reboxetine (Edronax). It is used in many European countries, but its rejection by U.S. regulators led to a hunt for missing data. GlaxoSmithKline has also been criticized for failing to publish data on the suicidal behavior associated with its antidepressant Seroxat.

According to BBC News:

“[The article’s authors] warn that the lack of all information means policy makers are unable to make informed decisions ... Others lay at least some of the blame with the medical journals that publish drug trial data. In response, the BMJ has promised to devote an entire issue to the topic next year.”

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