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October 24, 1990

Hope Hype Hit

Author Affiliations

Springer-Verlag Inc New York, NY

Springer-Verlag Inc New York, NY

JAMA. 1990;264(16):2075-2076. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450160043022

To the Editor.—  Contributions that extol the virtue of a particular drug (albeit in its generic form) unsupported by any study or reference to the existent literature and unaccompanied by a balanced go-with editorial are, to our knowledge, unprecedented in JAMA.Yet, such a contribution appeared in JAMA in the disguise of a pharmacologic manufacturer's insert published in "A Piece of My Mind."1The author supplies no references whatsoever and baldly admits to relying on anecdotal experience ("living proof "). The agent described is strongly implied to be a universal remedy for just about any ailment, irrespective of the form or dose in which it is administered.No reference is made to studies with negative findings, such as the one by Averill and Catlin2 that concluded that hope is neither a necessary nor a universal requirement of life.The same workers argue that far from availability in the unique,