NY Times Prints Fraudulent STAR*D Result Yet Again

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In an article titled “What You Really Need to Know About Antidepressants,” the New York Times repeats, yet again, the fraudulent results from the STAR*D trial. The article, with a subhead that promises readers “Facts and common misconceptions about some of America’s most widely used drugs,” informs readers the following:

“The largest study of multiple antidepressants — nicknamed the STAR*D trial — found that half of the participants had improved after using either the first or second medication that they tried, and nearly 70 percent of people had become symptom-free by the fourth antidepressant.”

That was the result publicized by the STAR*D investigators in their 2006 report on the study outcomes. However, as Ed Pigott and colleagues have reported, in publications dating back to 2010, the investigators violated their own protocol in numerous ways to inflate the remission rate. This past August, they published a patient-level reanalysis, in BMJ Open, that found that if the STAR*D investigators had adhered to their protocol, the true remission rate at the end of four stages was 35%.

Pigott and the authors of the study have contacted the New York Times multiple times since then, asking that the paper inform the public of this fact. Instead, the paper, with this latest article on “facts” about “some of America’s mostly widely used drugs,” once again informs its readers of the fraudulent result.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Just like research, papers can be bought.

    Reminds me of the ADHD study back in, what was it, like 2018?… which claimed to have proven that ADHD is a valid brain disease by referencing data that showed the exact opposite. It’s one thing to fudge your data, remove inconvenient candidates or data points, have your research model set up in a way that can only prove the affirmative but never disprove it.

    It’s altogether another thing to advertise papers by claiming and publicizing the opposite of what they actually read. Free for everyone to read and see. They very clearly don’t expect anyone to actually read the studies.

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  2. This happened because these days the mainstream media owes its existence to Big Pharma, more than any other business conglomerate.

    Think about it: who else do you reckon is paying the bills over at the NYTimes?

    So whatever Big Pharma wants, Big Pharma gets.

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