October 17, 2009 by Adrian Frost.
“Some products that have been on the market for decades, like Prozac, are faltering in more recent follow-up tests. In many cases, these are the compounds that, in the late 90s, made Big Pharma more profitable than Big Oil. But if these same drugs were vetted now, regulators might not approve some of them. Two comprehensive analyses of antidepressant trials have uncovered a dramatic increase in placebo response since the 80s. One estimated that the so-called effect size (a measure of statistical significance) in placebo groups had nearly doubled over that time. It’s not that the old meds are getting weaker, drug developers say. It’s as if the placebo effect is somehow getting stronger.”
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