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Ineffective Alcohol Treatment Drug, Time for a Change of Mind

Ineffective Alcohol Treatment Drug, Time for a Change of Mind

Reports out today have questioned the effectiveness of the alcohol treatment drug Nalmefene, which was approved for use in Europe in 2013 and then recommended by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence). Researchers at the University of Sterling have found the evidence to back up its recommendation and use as being “weak”.

This is not the first time, nor the last that big pharmaceutical rushes a drug to market without ensuring that the research on efficacy is as strong as it should be. I am sure that there are many people who are crippled by alcohol dependency who would love to simply take a pill and have all their problems solved. The same is true for many other conditions, take a pill solve the problem.

However, the real world does not work that way. For many issues, drug intervention is simply not enough nor in cases like this even useful. I am not saying that psychotherapy is the answer for everyone, because it certainly is not. But if NICE is unwilling to look more closely at the efficacy of psychotherapeutic approaches to interventions such as alcohol dependency and depression, the public will continue to be recommended to take drugs, some of which with dubious chances of success. I am not against evidence based practice, but I am against their being only one way to prove it.

There are many roads to the kingdom of evidence based practice, it is high time for NICE to get of the motorway and look for alternative roads to travel to this most important destination.

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