March 5, 2008

Commercial Features of Placebo and Therapeutic Efficacy

JAMA. 2008;299(9):1016-1017. doi:10.1001/jama.299.9.1016

To the Editor: It is possible that the therapeutic efficacy of medications is affected by commercial features such as lower prices. Because such features influence patients' expectations,1 they may play an unrecognized therapeutic role by influencing the efficacy of medical therapies, especially in conditions associated with strong placebo responses.2,3 To investigate this possibility, we studied the effect of price on analgesic response to placebo pills.

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