Contrarian. Inflammatory. Scaremongering. These are just three of the many words used by the mainstream, Big Pharma and all their cronies to dismiss and discredit anyone who questions the use, safety and effectiveness of the drugs they push onto millions of people ? even when it is a medical expert speaking out proves how the industry has been misleading patients for decades.
What will it take for the truth to be told?
A case in point is antidepressant drugs.
When Dr. Irving Kirsch ? the Associate Director of the Program in Placebo Studies and a Lecturer in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, as well as Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the Universities of Hull and Plymouth in the UK, and a few others in the United States ? questioned the wide use of antidepressant drugs after scrutinising ALL the research (published and unpublished) on the effectiveness of these drugs, he received anything but a warm reception from his peers.
The response from his critics and those supporting Big Pharma’s drug mill approach to medicine and treating patients was harsh. They emphasized that antidepressant drugs have been evaluated in many trials and their effectiveness is proven and well documented.
But this simply is not true.
Based on what Dr. Kirsch found (especially in unpublished and hidden trial results) instead of treating depression, antidepressant drugs may instead induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.
That’s because antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance ? a lack of serotonin in the brain. Their use is based on a “chemical imbalance” theory.
According to Dr. Kirsch, his analysis of the published data (and the unpublished data that was hidden by drug companies) revealed that most (if not all) of the supposed benefits of antidepressant drugs are due to the placebo effect and that they don’t repair a chemical imbalance.
That’s because according to his findings some antidepressants increase serotonin levels, some decrease it, and some have no effect at all on serotonin. Nevertheless, according to Big Pharma these drugs all show the same therapeutic benefit.
In one of his own trials, conducted in 2002 and published in the journal The American Psychological Association’s Prevention & Treatment, Dr. Kirsch and his team found that 80 per cent of the effect of antidepressants, as measured in clinical trials, could be attributed to the placebo effect. The difference between the response of the drugs and the response of the placebo was less than two points on average on a clinical scale that goes from fifty to sixty points. This is a very small difference, and according Kirsch, is clinically meaningless.
Of course, Dr. Kirsch doesn’t base his argument solely on the findings of his own study. During his research he requested that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) send data that Big Pharma submitted as part of the approval process for their drugs. As a result, the researchers were able to obtain data on both published and unpublished trials. What he found probably won’t come as a surprise to you: Almost half of the clinical trials sponsored by Big Pharma have not been published. These unpublished results ? only known to Big Pharma and the FDA ? failed in almost all instances to find a significant benefit of antidepressant drugs compared to placebo…
I know this is a rhetorical question, but how is it possible that the FDA ignored these trials and their results? After all, it is an organisation that is supposed to have patients’ interest and safety as a priority.
The fact is, if there was anything wrong with those trials, the medications should not have been approved in the first place.
It’s becoming clearer to me (and thousands of other like-minded people like you) that uncovering these truths about the pharmaceutical industry and the mainstream can no longer be considered contrarian or scaremongering… and we can’t ignore the glaringly obvious: Big Pharma is not creating cures, it is creating customers.
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Melander, Ahlqvist-Rastad, Meijer, & Beermann, 2003; Turner, Matthews, Linardatos, Tell, & Rosenthal, 2008.
Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect, Z Psychol. 2014; 222(3): 128?134
The Hidden Harm of Antidepressants, published online 03.02. 2016, scientificamerican.com
Study Outlines Why Antidepressant Drugs Could Be Completely Useless & Harmful, published online 16.03.2016, collective-evolution.com