December 24, 2012

Which Fake Medicine Is Most Effective?

Cara Feinberg, Harvard Magazine


AP Photo

TWO WEEKS INTO Ted Kaptchuk’s first randomized clinical drug trial, nearly a third of his 270 subjects complained of awful side effects. All the patients had joined the study hoping to alleviate severe arm pain: carpal tunnel, tendinitis, chronic pain in the elbow, shoulder, wrist. In one part of the study, half the subjects received pain-reducing pills; the others were offered acupuncture treatments.

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TAGGED: Placebo Effect