Randomized Controlled Trials of Antidepressants: Clinically and Scientifically Irrelevant

Journal of Mind and Behavior 31 (1-2) (2010)
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This contribution to the “antidepressant debate” focuses on the validity of randomized controlled trials. We argue that: randomized controlled trials do everything possible to methodologically stamp out high placebo response rates rather than reveal the clinical implications, assessing a psychoactive drug’s effects greatly exceeds the purpose of a randomized controlled trial, requiring substantial investigation on normal volunteers, made-up psychiatric diagnostic categories destroy the purpose and logic of the randomized controlled trial as a medical experiment, and adverse drug reactions remain under-studied, under-recognized, and under-appreciated, in parallel with the muting of subjects’ voice and the reliance on surrogate measures of efficacy. The standard psychopharmacotherapy trial has lost virtually all clinical and scientific relevance, and needs complete revamping. The backdrop for the discussion is American biopsychiatry’s insistence that personal difficulties must be viewed as the expression of idiopathic somatic diseases, and the pharmaceutical industry’s dominance of the entire drug treatment research enterprise



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