U.K. demands all SSRI data

Put your cards on the table, ladies and gentlemen. A U.K. minister is calling on drug companies to hand over all their data on antidepressants to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. NICE, you'll recall, is reviewing its guidelines for the use of SSRI drugs, aiming to issue new treatment advice this fall. Failing to hand over that data "would leave the inevitable impression they had something to hide," the minister said. In the past, another official said, the government has been unable to get access to unpublished trials.

The request comes on the heels of last week's study showing that SSRIs were effective only in the most severely depressed patients. Despite the U.K.'s official position that drugs shouldn't be the first line of defense against depression, they're among Britain's most prescribed meds with more than 31 million scrips in 2006.

- read the report from the Guardian

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