Placebo - Placebo and Drug Testing Andrew Hockenbery...

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Unformatted text preview: Placebo and Drug Testing Andrew Hockenbery Sociology 213 When developing new drugs to put on the market, drug companies generally test their new products against placebo pills. In other words, the drugs are tested against pills that are made to look like the drug being tested, but have no active ingredients (Angell). In this way, the subjects being tested won’t know whether or not they are being administered the real drug or the fake one. This seems like a good way to obtain accurate results of the drug being tested, but by taking a closer look we discover that testing with placebo may not be what it seems. To test a new drug being brought to market, placebo is a good choice to test against as long as there is no other drug out like the new one. By default, placebo is the only logical choice to test against and see how the new drug will work in comparison. If the new drug is supposed to be an improvement or new version of an already existing drug though, placebo may not be the best choice. I feel that the only way to evaluate a new drug and really be sure it works at least as well (it should work better) than the drug it is replacing is to test it against that old drug. Drugs companies generally don’t test drug against drug though, making it difficult to really know whether or not the new drugs are worth all the time spent on them or if they are the same thing as before, often at a higher price (Angell). The other factor that may lead to questioning of results of the drug testing is that there are often a significant number of people who respond just as well to the placebo pills as the actual pills containing medication (Angell). So why do patients respond to the placebo sometimes just as well as to the real drug? One idea is the “placebo effect.” The placebo effect is not actually a medical cure, but a way in which a patient’s condition may improve simply based on the expectation that the false medication they have been given will help. given will help....
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This note was uploaded on 04/20/2008 for the course SOC 213 taught by Professor Cleeton during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Geneseo.

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Placebo - Placebo and Drug Testing Andrew Hockenbery...

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