Saturday, April 17, 2004

Dynamics of pill-pushing in kids

I'm glad to see more discussion of anti-depressant prescription in children in the media. I found the paragraphs at the end to be most pertinent:
    Jureidini's analysis in the British Medical Journal, which examined six published trials for Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and Effexor, found that of 42 measures used to evaluate patients in these studies, only 14 showed a statistical advantage for the medicine over placebo.

    The psychiatrist, who himself prescribes the medicines to children -- but rarely -- said the moderate benefits of the drugs have been oversold. He blamed pharmaceutical industry marketing and the alliances the industry has made with top psychiatrists: Once prominent doctors said they supported the medicines, general practitioners and the public accepted the conclusion, Jureidini said.

    The researcher said that doctors had a subtle -- but powerful -- bias: "There's this kind of view that we all know antidepressants work and if the research doesn't support that, there must be something wrong with the research."
His comments about the dynamics of pill-pushing should be at the top of the article, not at the end. It seems too easy to give people, especially children, anti-depressants in this society.