Mental health professionals may be prescribing drugs based on biased publications

According to a study by lead author Erick Turner, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and pharmacology, physicians who prescribe antipsychotic medications may be doing so based on incomplete information. Dr. Turner and his colleagues found that while overall, antipsychotic medications appear to be more effective than placebos in clinical trials, sometimes the results of these studies are not published, or articles are written in such a way that overstates a drug’s effectiveness. For example, there is very limited information available to physicians regarding how one drug “stacks up” against another, Dr. Turner said. Consequently, when they rely solely on medical journals for information, doctors have no way of knowing whether they should prescribe a new, more expensive medication, or a cheaper, generic version.

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