No sleep for sleeping pill makers

An independent (i.e., not drug company funded) analysis of 24 clinical trials concludes that sleeping pills provide little benefit to elderly patients and that the risks outweigh the benefits. Nondrug, behavioral therapies are suggested as alternatives.

With the Medicare Part D drug benefit kicking in, expect more interest in studies of drugs’Â’ effectiveness in older patients. Pharma companies will need to rethink their development and marketing strategies as payers take a greater interest in the Medicare population.

December 6, 2005

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