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Publication bias skewed results of anxiety drug treatment trials, study finds

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1948 (Published 13 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1948
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Publication bias, outcome reporting bias, and spin led to an “overly positive representation” of results from trials of second generation antidepressants for treating anxiety disorders, a study in JAMA Psychiatry has found.1

In the trial Annelieke M Roest and colleagues, of University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, studied the results of phase II and III double blind, placebo controlled clinical trials that were submitted for review by the US Food and Drug Administration in pursuit of marketing approval for second generation antidepressants for five anxiety disorders, comparing them with results that appeared in journal articles.

Nine drugs were evaluated in the trials: seven selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (paroxetine hydrochloride, paroxetine controlled release, sertraline hydrochloride, fluoxetine hydrochloride, fluvoxamine maleate, fluvoxamine CR, and escitalopram …

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