PLACEBO BECOMING MOST SOUGHT AFTER MEDICAL TREATMENT
September 27 2009
Washington, D.C. – For decades placebos have been both the bane and the lifeblood of the medical drug industry. One of the best known of medical terms, the placebo has had a part in every drug we take, from aspirin to HIV cocktails. Their use by drug
companies and government agencies has made the Placebo Effect a part of the common culture and ensured its placement as one of the best known medical diagnostic tools ever.
Now, researchers and drug companies are beginning to feel the placebo pinch with fewer and fewer of their drugs passing the test against the lowly sugar pill. Everything from anti-depressants to cholesterol medication has begun suffering in the wake of the ever mighty placebo effect, withering in the face of power of perception. With profits dwindling drug companies are more than ever railing against the use of placebos in clinical trials with many advocating blind approvals. Though that is unlikely to happen except amongst the most powerful of drug companies, placebo manufacturers have already begun waging a battle to keep their drug on the market and ensure the long term success of what is now one of the most widely used drugs.
“Across the board tests are showing that Placebos are becoming more effective at treating a wider range of diseases. Virtually every disease can be affected by placebo to some degree. Some of the most dangerous and deadly diseases are now being effectively treated with placebos and that means that a lot more people have new hope for the future,” said a spokesperson for a placebo manufacturer. “It has become clear in recent years that placebos are bringing health and happiness to a much wider group of people and that is good for everyone. Yes we are talking about a profit, which in turn leads to the development of other new drugs, but we are also talking about cures. It is becoming more and more clear that placebos are effective at treating virtually every ailment.”
Placebos have had a particular effect on mental disorders which for many years has the bread and butter of large drug companies such as Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. Because placebos have a particular effect on the brain many companies are at a loss after basing their success on such treatments.
“Placebos have only been around for a short time as an accepted medical practice but the effect of the drugs has been remarkable. The real conundrum though is that in
order to make a placebo work effectively it must work against another brand name drug. Because those are on the decline they may phase out entirely which would once again render placebos ineffective, potentially damning humanity along with it,” said Scrape TV Health analyst Rebecca Phelps. “The growth of the Placebo industry could in fact be its undoing. The real problem with placebos is that there is not a lot of room for improvement. With many drugs new advances and even small changes can affect the way the medication works and cause new opportunities for companies. Placebos are, effectively, sugar pills and there simply isn’t a whole lot to improve with that.”
Many placebos come in a variety of colours but because they are not consumed in the same way products like Skittles are many fear that the cost of placebos could dramatically increase as companies become more reliant on them to maintain their bottom line.
“The core issue with any drug is that the industry is so massive that it requires a lot of dollars in order to maintain itself. There’s a reason drugs are so expensive and as simple sugar pills start to take over inevitably prices will rise. That could also lead to a rise in the cost of other sugar-related products which is going to cause a lot of strife,” continued Phelps. “That could in turn lead to decreased need for placebos as diseases related to sugary goods decline, which would of course cause the costs to skyrocket and make health just as inaccessible as it is now.”
Most major drug companies now produce their own placebos but have traditionally had trouble getting past clinical trials with the FDA which tests them against real drugs.