20 October 2010

Placebo Composition – How Important?

Possibly this should be subtitled “How are Placebos Used?”.

This is about placebos, page down to number 2 in the article. There are several types of placebos depending on definition. The first part is about the placebos used in medical research, specifically in trails. Placebos are generally substances with no known activity against the health condition involved in the study.

What is left out of the majority of studies is the composition of the placebo used in the study. We will never know for sure if the placebo was truly a placebo. Hopefully this will be rectified in the future. The authors of a group of researchers have recommended that the journals require placebo composition and that the CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trails) group amend their rules to require placebo composition disclosure.

The second is about a person that does not have diabetes using a CGM (Continous Glucose Monitor), and this case it is a placebo of a different kind. The person is Larry Hausner, the CEO of the American Diabetes Association. Read this to find out why he would do this. I will give him high marks for doing this, but only for doing this.

I would call this a placebo for several reasons. First, he did not have diabetes. Second, while it was a good trial, he did learn something; however, some will view this as a publicity stunt. I am happy he did this. I will have to see what others say, and to-date everything is positive.

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