‘Presentation Bias’ Favors Psychopharm at Major Meetings


Researchers at the University of Michigan and Yale reviewed the 278 studies presented at the 2009 and 2010 APA meetings that compared medications, finding that no industry-sponsored studies with negative results were presented. “This suggests that the APA meeting might be being used as an opportunity to make drugs seem more effective than they are,” says an author. Non-drug therapies get less attention, despite growing evidence that can be just as effective.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. How much coffee is consumed at this pilgrimage? I’d like to see all coffee withheld on the great day. They’d get nothing done, since sudden withdrawal would cause immediate migraines and barfing – and a bunch in the lot of them would be incapacitated. Coffee is called “the devil’s cup”. A fiend is an “evil spirit or demon” and also a drug junkie.


    Psychiatric drugs are legal, regardless of their toxicity or benefit. Coffee is a drug and is legal, regardless of it’s toxicity or benefit.

    A drug is a drug.

    How often do coffee manufacturers disclose any information or provide education regarding the potential toxicity of usage of their product, or withdrawal from it? NEVER.

    The biggest warning we ever receive is that coffee may be very hot and it might burn you. I’m looking at my cup right now: “Caution! Contents Hot!”

    My coffee cup does not tell me that if I suddenly cease to consume the product, I will immediately go to hell. But that’s exactly what happens.

    Is it a stereotype that schizophrenics REALLY like coffee, a lot a lot a lot? Oh. That’s interesting.

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  2. Is this a statement of the obvious or what? I’m glad that someone actually put this into print, but it was a waste of a lot of money to talk about something that anyone with any sense already knows. What would happen if for just one time the APA banned the presence of all drug companies from their annual meeting? The article stated that the “alternatives” that never get talked about work “almost” as well? Fact is, the alternatives work better than the toxic drugs, especially over a long period of time. The so-called antidepressants start causing depression over long-term use. And what about placebos? It’s great when a sugar pill works as well as the supposed treatment that all the psychiatrists and drug companies back.

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