But scientifically, the placebo effect is VERY powerful indeed. In fact, it’s medically hard to beat it.

Oh I agree. In a perfect society, all would know to get proper help -and- would be able to get proper help.

I think a lot of this continues though often for financial reasons. Homeopathic remedies are often cheap and easily available. No health insurance required etc.

(I’m speaking more of the pragmatic reasons for trying them out, rather than beliefs here)

I think they’re allowed to continue because of the placebo effect: I worked in Schering-Plough which was a pharmaceutical company that’s now merged with Merck I think.

Public opinion of placebo is to poo-poo it. “Oh, just the placebo effect”.

But scientifically, the placebo effect is VERY powerful indeed. In fact, it’s medically hard to beat it.

While I was there (15 yrs ago) one product they were working on was their own viagra. Messing around with the chirality of the molecules and stuff.

It showed marvelous effectiveness in clinical trials; it actually got to that stage.

But…

the difference between placebo and the pill were statistically insignificant, so ethically, they had to drop it.

Yet, not all pill manufacturers did… or do.

Now things are tougher for them, thankfully.

http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2009/10/features/the-placebo-problem-big-pharmas-desperate-to-solve

Snake oil shows up everywhere. Good science is out there but finding it is tricky stuff.

 

sorry for the rant. It’s just.. working in an industry of bullshit [and some of the questionable metrics I had to use], _I_ might try a homoepathic remedy first. At least they usually come with a shot of liquor for free… which is what does most of the help anyway tongue emoticon

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