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Drug Firms Withheld Negative Data

Drug companies withheld information showing antidepressants were ineffective and could be harmful to children and should have issued warnings on their products, researchers said on Friday.

Health authorities in Britain and the United States have voiced concern or advised doctors not to prescribe the drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to children under 18 because of a potential suicide risk.

Scientists who conducted a review of six published and six unpublished trials about their use in children say companies had been aware of problems but did not reveal them.

Surprising? Hardly. I first noted this issue back in 1996, in an editorial entitled Science’s Dirty Secret, but most graduate students become aware of the bias in research in their first year. I’m hardly the first to realize this conclusion, either. Other researchers have been saying the same thing for years.

Drug Firms Withheld Negative Data

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder & CEO of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues -- as well as the intersection of technology and human behavior -- since 1992. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member and treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He writes regularly and extensively on mental health concerns, the intersection of technology and psychology, and advocating for greater acceptance of the importance and value of mental health in today's society. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). Drug Firms Withheld Negative Data. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 25, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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