ALTHOUGH their primary concerns were the safety and ethics of placebo use, Khan et al1 also used the Food and Drug Administration files on second-generation antidepressants to assess "symptom reduction among patients assigned to antidepressants and placebo." In this sample of approximately 19 000 patients, placebo and drug had comparable morbidity and mortality and the authors report that "symptom reduction was 40.7% with investigational . . . 41.7% with active comparators . . . and 30.9% with placebo. . . . "
Quitkin FM, Klein DF. What Conditions Are Necessary to Assess Antidepressant Efficacy?. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2000;57(4):323–324. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.57.4.323