Placebo Power, Advertiing $

January 4, 2008 4:00:38 PM PST
Two new studies shed light on what the drug industry thinks is important, and how doctors treat your body through your brain

Big Pharma's Priorities

A new study finds that when it comes to SPENDING money, the pharmaceutical industry places more emphasis on ADVERTISING than it does on research and development of new therapies.

According to 2 companies that track pharmaceutical industry spending, in the US alone, drug companies spend nearly TWICE as much on drug PROMOTION as they do on DEVELOPMENT.

In 2005, companies spent nearly $58 billion, just on FDA-approved promotional activities, such as television commercials, FREE SAMPLES of drugs to doctors, and advertising in medical journals.

The same year, companies spent just $32 billion researching new treatments.


Prescription: Placebo

Your doctor could be using the power of suggestion to treat you.

A survey of 200 Chicago-area physicians found that nearly half of them have recommended placebo treatments to their patients.

Numerous studies have documented the so-called "placebo effect" that doing something, even if it is a sugar pill, often helps people feel better.

Among the placebos doctors recommended were vitamins, herbal supplements, or even antibiotics for infections NOT caused by bacteria.

Doctors say the reasons they try placebos is to calm patients, or sometimes, to get them to stop complaining.

They also admit they resort to placebos when conventional medicine fails.