Realistically, it is nearly impossible to get data that is entirely free from pharmaceutical company, or other, bias. That said, there are independent sources of medication information and reviews that actively strive to be free from bias. These include The Medical Letter and The Therapeutics Letter, which are produced by nonprofit organizations (The Medical Letter, Inc., and the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia). There are a number of websites, such as healthyskepticism.org and nofreelunch.org (operated by nonprofit organizations) that strive to counter misleading drug promotions. Also, the consumer magazine Consumer Reports has a public education program called “Best Buy Drugs” and an excellent web site, crbestbuydrugs.org, that includes free downloadable reports on various medications.
There are also large studies sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health and others, which should be relatively free of pharmaceutical company bias. Notable current studies include ones comparing the newer antipsychotic medications to the older ones.
Indeed, the early findings from these studies show that with the exception of clozapine’s (Clozaril) repeatedly demonstrated superior efficacy in treating resistant psychosis, the others come out all about the same. A notable difference is the price, with older off patent medications costing a fraction of what the newer on-patent ones cost. Another important source that evaluates the evidence for or against various treatments is the Cochrane Library through Wiley InterScience at www.interscience.wiley.com.