Markets in Everything: Placebos

by on January 1, 2010 at 10:59 am in Medicine | Permalink

Is there any drug that helps more conditions with less risk than a placebo?  Now you can buy placebos.  The site actually has some good information about placebo studies.

Hat tip: Metafilter.

Yancey Ward January 1, 2010 at 11:15 am

But if they don’t work, you can get sued.

Tom West January 1, 2010 at 11:59 am

I’ve always wondered about the fact that a drug generally has to perform better than a placebo to get approved.

While that sounds right on the surface, I doubt that, outside of medical trials, doctors have the right to prescribe a true placebo’s without patient knowledge. (Just the infrastructure of supplying true placebos to patients would be intimidating. How to you let the pharmacist know without alerting the patient?)

So the true situation for a patient is usually between the drug or nothing at all, not a placebo. In which case, using a drug that worked less well than a placebo is still an overall benefit.

anonymous January 1, 2010 at 1:48 pm

The placebo effect is probably telling us something important about the nature of consciousness, and maybe even about whether we are living in a simulator (kludgy shortcuts to save processor cycles).

Mike January 1, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Placebos have side effects just like real drugs.

Greg Conen January 4, 2010 at 10:33 pm

@Rugbyologist:
Really? I’m not an expert, but aren’t results like “Placebo response in asthma: a robust and objective phenomenon” ME Kemeny et al. inconsistent with a purely subjective result?

marc January 10, 2010 at 9:26 am

Placebos have long been sold on the market. They were simply called “homeopathy.”

Zillina November 10, 2010 at 10:36 am

Even the aspirin has a placebo effect, but people do not realize that. If people would know that drugs could be easily replaced by a training your brain, well, I think that the pharmaceutical companies would go bankrupt… instantly… drug rehab Indiana

Raducu November 26, 2010 at 10:15 am

Frankie is right.Seeing people healing themselves with their own mind power would be something that I guess we all want to see.If that happens the day when it will happen will be the day when the world changes.Philadelphia Chiropractors

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