Mother Jones has published an article entitled â€œThe Deadly Corruption of Clinical Trialsâ€, which contains great details if youâ€™re interested. The article highlights the increasing number of reports that show the pharmaceutical industry is using what many consider to be unethical and unscientific practices when it comes to conducting clinical trials for their products. Theyâ€™ve turned clinical trials over to their marketing teams, who design trials that can only have an outcome that favors their product; this may mean manipulating the dose of the â€œotherâ€ brands, so that those in the trial who need the medication are either getting too little to have an effect, or else theyâ€™re getting enough to have a severe reaction to the side effects.
Whatâ€™s more, other unethical practices have been uncovered, including burying unfavorable trials, and encouraging (through financial sponsorship) overly aggressive recruitment by the part of institutions–putting people into studies who donâ€™t belong there (for a sad tale about a mother whoâ€™s son died after he was enrolled without her consent, despite having been ruled unfit to consent himself, please do read the article).
With regard to the specific class of drugs focused on in the article, â€œatypical antipsychoticsâ€, these tactics have lead to the drugs now being â€œthe most lucrative class of drugsâ€, due in part to such things as over-prescribing (theyâ€™re intended for things like schizophrenia but are also prescribed for things like insomnia) as well as over-diagnosing (specifically, a sharp rise in the diagnoses of bipolar disorder among children in the last 10 years, fitting the timeline of these tactics).
When questioned about their practices, the pharmaceuticals hide behind the â€œSafe and effectiveâ€ approval given their product by the FDA, as if that justifies their use and misleading marketing of them.