A Harvard scientist says the drugs used to treat depression are effective, but for many, it’s the placebo effect that’s making people feel better.
Do antidepressants work? Since the introduction of Prozac in the 1980s, prescriptions for antidepressants have soared 400 percent, with 17 million Americans currently taking some form of the drug. But how much good is the medication itself doing? “The difference between the effect of a placebo and the effect of an antidepressant is minimal for most people,” says Harvard scientist Irving Kirsch. Will Kirsch’s research, and the work of others, change the USD 11.3 billion antidepressant industry? Lesley Stahl investigates (CBS News, 2012).