Tag Archives: Latest

Drug companies wine, dine and *educate* doctors about the drugs they prescribe

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If a drug company treats a doctor to a nice lunch and a presentation on their newest products, is prescribing affected? Doctors generally think not, but the research evidence overwhelmingly says yes. And if these events do affect doctors’ decisions on patient care, should we be worried?

Couldn’t they just prescribe placebos? Of course not! Where’s the profit in that?

Back pain? Try placebo surgery

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“A common operation for back pain is not only ineffective but often leads to complications, a former spinal surgeon is claiming in a new book. In Surgery, The Ultimate Placebo Ian Harris says that when spine fusion operations appear to work, it’s usually because of a placebo effect.” Full article here

GPs use placebos

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An interesting distinction  between ‘pure’ and impure’ placebos! (Universal Placebos are unapologetically PURE!)

“A pure placebo is a straightforwardly fake treatment – a saline injection or a sugar pill, for instance, that is represented as a drug.

An impure placebo is a substance or treatment that does have clinical value, but not for the condition for which it is being prescribed.

Impure placebos can be vitamins, nutritional supplements, antibiotics for viral infections, sub-clinical doses of drugs, unproven complementary and alternative medicines, or unnecessary blood tests to calm an anxious patient.”

A UK survey in 2012 showed that 1% of GPs use ‘pure’ placebos at least once a week, and an extraordinary 77% use ‘impure’ placebos at the same rate (though we suspect that’s often the habit of prescribing so-called ‘useless’ antibiotics for viral infections).