News Stories

Placebos Working Better Than Ever

But why? - Nobody can figure out why, but placebos are working better than ever. Are people more gullible than they used to be?

In Wired.com, Steve Silberman reports on a major drug company that was losing money because it hadn't introduced a new drug in 3 years. They decided to come out with an antidepressant. It performed beautifully in tests, but was later found, like many of these drugs, to be merely a placebo. Silberman writes, "The fact that an increasing number of medications are unable to beat sugar pills has thrown the industry into crisis. The stakes could hardly be higher. In today's economy, the fate of a long-established company can hang on the outcome of a handful of tests.

"Ironically, Big Pharma's attempt to dominate the central nervous system has ended up revealing how powerful the brain really is. The placebo response doesn't care if the catalyst for healing is a triumph of pharmacology, a compassionate therapist, or a syringe of salt water. All it requires is a reasonable expectation of getting better. That's potent medicine."

We just wish we could find a placebo that would keep us going but alas, that's only a dream: It takes an influx of you-know-what (hint: it's green) to make sure we'll still be here tomorrow. Please do YOUR part: Subscribe today! (And if you have anything left in your pocket at the end of the month, click on the "donate" button on our homepage too. And thanks).

Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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