A new study discussed in today's Times demonstrates a serious problem with depression among researchers who study the effectiveness of antidepressant medication:
The makers of antidepressants like Prozac and Paxil never published the results of about a third of the drug trials that they conducted to win government approval, misleading doctors and consumers about the drugs’ true effectiveness, a new analysis has found.
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 But when the less positive, unpublished trials are included, the advantage shrinks: the drugs outperform placebos, but by a modest margin…
One may infer that the negative outlook among scientists who find no benefit in their work has harmed their ability to get studies published. Those researchers who see good news in their data go on to publication by a significant margin. With no other cause suggested, one must conclude that poor mood and outlook diminish the drive to succeed among those clinicians who fail to publish their research.
These people need help.