Big Pharma Corruption: Placebos

Placebos are commonly viewed as fraud among the general public. Some news stories have said that some drugs that were sold as prescriptions were just milk and sugar. Although it is wrong to sell placebos in place of real drugs, placebos have a great deal of importance in pharmaceutical research. Placebos can make a control group stronger. Using placebos allow the control group to not get the actual drug to prevent the consumer from knowing if he/she actually received a drug or not. This can lessen surrounding biases. However, recent discoveries are showing that some placebos are working better than real drugs.

An article in Wired reports that from 2001 to 2006 the percentage of products that failed Phase II clinical trials rose by twenty percent (Silberman, 2009). Half of all drugs that fail in late-stage trials drop out of the pipeline due to their inability to beat sugar pills. The drug developers claim that the placebo effect is somehow getting stronger. The placebo has and will be the same for years to come just as it has stayed the same all through the years before. Milk and sugar, is milk and sugar. The decrease in new drugs is due to the failure to meet the FDA standard that a new medication must beat a placebo in at least two trials. This further demonstrates that Big Pharma is so busy thinking of ways to earn money that they have lost their ability to make new innovative drugs and improve the industry. The distractions of money affect Big Pharma’s ability to do their job: helping people.