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Placebos Are Getting More Effective

29 Jun 2015

PlacebosHis research on experimental antidepressant codenamed MK-869, still in clinical trials, brought up some very interesting questions. The drug tested brilliantly early on, with minimal side effects. However, MK-869 didn't do much better than the placebo substitute, with both trial groups feeling their hopelessness and anxiety lift. The placebo was in the form of a look-alike pill made of milk sugar or another inert substance given to groups of volunteers in clinical trials.

In subsequent tests, MK-869 turned out to be no more effective than a placebo. In the jargon of the industry, the trials crossed the futility boundary. What's new? Don't get me wrong. I know there are some marvellous drugs on the market but there are many more where the side effects outweigh the advantages. Are Getting More Effective. And Drugmakers don't know why!

In interviews with the press, Edward Scolnick, Merck's research director gave out his strategy for expanding the company's reach into the antidepressant market and competing with competitive drug firms such as Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline who created some of the best-selling drugs in the world. "To remain dominant in the future," he told Forbes, "we need to dominate the central nervous system."


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