A Movie Log

A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Peace Be With You

On his blog yesterday, Kevin Drum commented on a British study that questions the efficacy of antidepressants, particularly SSRIs such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and paroxetine (Paxil). Apparently the study is a headline maker in the British press, yet it has attracted very little attention over here. Kevin wonders why the American press hasn't picked up on it -- with a veiled implication that the influence of Big Pharma may have something to do with it. The blogpost brought forth a long, long string of comments, many of which are worth reading.

Now, I'm no friend of the pharmaceutical industry. But I have great reason to question the accuracy of this study. It may be that a placebo would have curtailed the anxiety attacks that were making my life hellish (and me even less pleasant to be around), but I'm perfectly happy to credit paroxetine with helping me knit up the raveled sleeve of care. I do hope the American press takes a look at this study and questions its assumptions (the Brits seem to be endorsing it). But asking the American press to do anything these days is like asking a drowning man to smile for the camera.