Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Publication Bias Affects Views of Antipsychotic Drugs

“Publication bias in the reporting of trials of second-generation antipsychotic drugs enhances the apparent efficacy of these drugs,” wrote Peter Gøtzsche, M.D., of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Denmark, in the online journal PLoS Medicine, on March 20. “These findings show how selective reporting of clinical trial data undermines the integrity of the evidence base and can deprive clinicians of accurate data on which to base their prescribing decisions.”

Gøtzsche was commenting on a paper in the same journal by Erick Turner, M.D., and assistant professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Oregon Health Sciences University.

Turner and colleagues reviewed 20 published trials of eight second-generation antipsychotics and found only a nonsignificant difference in outcomes. However, the effect size for another four unpublished trials (0.23) was barely half that of the published trials (0.47) and achieved statistical significance. "Without increased access to regulatory-agency data, publication bias will continue to blur distinctions between effective and ineffective drugs,” wrote Turner and colleagues.

To read more about possible bias in publication of clinical trials of antipsychotics, see Psychiatric News here.
(Image: Andrew S./


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