It is well known that the placebo effect accounts for up to a third of the effects of almost every drug out there. Even if a ‘drug’ is a sugar pill, as long as the patient believes it is a good drug, it is likely to work in a third of cases.
So why don’t government, NHS, big pharmaceutical companies and some top scientists all form a top-secret consortium to come up with a new wonder drug that is really just a cleverly concocted placebo? It would need to be convincing, so a few awards would need to be sprinkled around, and some conspicuous research spending (really being spent on real drug research), and a fair bit on publicity. And the media would need to be blocked from spilling the beans. But then we could all take this pill knowing it will cure loads of stuff, and we would all be healthier, and happier, while health care costs would plummet so we’d even be richer. But don’t tell anyone.
I wonder if aspirin or statins are already in this category?