Friday, October 16, 2015

Placebo relativity

NATURE reports: Potential pain treatments are struggling to prove their worth over a rising placebo effect seen in US trials.
So placebo getting more effective and only in US, which is most probably another outcome of overpriced health care system.

One of things I'm curious to see here is there any correlation between placebo effect and faithfulness. Many cults harness placebo effect in their rituals, so I think it is reasonable to suggest that effect will stronger on believers. So, if they want to keep existing system it might be reasonable to select atheists and agnostics for future trials.

It was kind of obvious that you can manipulate the effect of treatment by changing conditions you put patient in. But now when we know the actual statistics, it gives us some base to influence placebo effect by manipulating conditions in which treatment is administered. From certain perspective it's a negative outcome.
For example, if your drug has subtle effect, all you need to do is to put your patients in dirty chip hospital with crunky nurses.