Study: Messaging for depression drugs doesn't reflect evidence

A new study says that drugs used to treat depression only help the most severe patients, a sharp contrast to the industry-supported studies of the past which often have reported that the drugs reduce symptoms.

A new study says that drugs used to treat depression only help the most severe patients, a sharp contrast to the industry-supported studies of the past which often have reported that the drugs, not placebos, reduce symptoms.

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, notes that 70% of patients do not have severe enough cases to benefit from the medicines and that physicians, policymakers, and patients should understand this.

The authors also said that “[t]his important feature of the evidence base is not reflected in the implicit messages present in the marketing of these medications to clinicians and the public."

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