It’ s the money stupid

Drug companies don’t publish negative or marginal results as noted in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine article. The companies submit information to the FDA but neglect to publish them leaving prescribers, physicians, in the dark.

In published trials, about 60 percent of people taking the drugs report significant relief from depression, compared with roughly 40 percent of those on placebo pills. But when the less positive, unpublished trials are included, the advantage shrinks: the drugs outperform placebos, but by a modest margin,

These noble companies, take advantage of a patent system that gives them a monopoly on a drug for a generation. Their ethical concerns do not seem to include assuring patients the best possible care. Maximizing income is more important. Our non-system of health care is scandalous.

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