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Americans Bloated On Happy Pills

nist in New York City, says the real force behind skyrocketing antidepressant prescription rates is pharmaceutical marketing to doctors and to consumers. "You put those two together and you get a lot of prescriptions for antidepressants," he says. Goodman questions whether all these prescriptions are necessary. "It's hard to believe that number of people are depressed, or that antidepressants are the answer," he states.

Goodman is the founder of a group called "No Free Lunch," a group that encourages doctors to reject gifts from pharmaceutical companies. He claims that patients sometimes see ads for antidepressants on television and ask doctors for the drugs - and that studies show these requests work.

In a study published two years ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association, actors pretending to be patients went to doctors in the San Francisco area and said they were depressed. Incidentally, the "patients" who asked for an antidepressant were significantly more likely to get a prescription for one than patients who did not.


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