This is amusing

Med3000 was originally the placebo used in a clinical trial of another of Futura’s erectile dysfunction gels, which scientists had been working on for more than a decade. That gel failed in the study, whereas the dummy treatment, Med3000, yielded “statistically significant and clinically meaningful” improvements. Futura decided to focus its efforts on the placebo gel instead.

The placebo worked better than the drug under trial……

10 thoughts on “This is amusing”

  1. No surprise, sex is mostly in the head.
    Not sure whether it’s legal to market placebos, as placebos. It doesn’t make much sense either if the patient knows there’s nothing to it. You’d have to say it is homeopathic or invent a brand in a new pattern of medications.

  2. @philip: There genuinely is a second order placebo effect, whereby taking a placebo when you know it’s a placebo still works to some extent. Humans are weird.

  3. Read a book on the placebo effect once.

    Felt a lot better afterwards.

    Anyways, it was fascinating, particularly a chapter towards the end where the author explored the possibility of exploiting the effect with fake surgery.

    Also, why GPs always end up wearing tweed jackets with leather elbow patches.

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    Ben Goldacre used to blog about the placebo and nocebo effects quite a lot. I remember him reporting one study where the patients knew they were getting a placebo but doctors still went through all the rituals and got statistically significant results.

    His old blog is still up:

  5. As Heartiste (PBUH) used to say; there’s no epidemic of erectile dysfunction, there’s an epidemic of fat wives….

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