Placebo When Perceived As Expensive Is As Effective As Other Drugs

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Perception Of Humans Lead To Efficiency Of Drugs

A new study has shown that a drug as normal and ordinary as placebo can be effective if the person who is administered the drug thinks that it is a different and expensive drug. It has been seen that irrespective of the fact that there is hardly any difference between generic and brand name drugs, a subject’s perception and/or expectations of a drug—based on its price–significantly influences a drug’s efficacy. The lead author of the study was Alberto J. Espay and he said, “Patients’ expectations play an important role in the effectiveness of their treatments, and the placebo effect has been well documented, especially in people with Parkinson’s disease. We wanted to see if the people’s perceptions of the cost of the drug they received would affect the placebo response.”

Study Was Carried out on Patients With Parkinson’s Disease

In the study, the patients’ with Parkinson’s disease were given two shots of a placebo that were just a saline solution. They were told that they were getting shots of two different but equally effective medications. The only difference between the drugs was that one drug cost “$100 per dose” and the other drug cost “$1,500 per dose.” It was seen that the so called expensive drug improved motor skills and minimized hand shaking among the Parkinson’s disease sufferers more effectively than the “cheap” placebo did.

Research May Help In Future Treatments

The researchers said that after the patients were told that truth, some of them said that they certainly felt better with the “expensive” treatment. Researchers are hopeful that this study and conclusion can be used by the doctors in future treatments in order to help the patients psychologically.

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