Scientists at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio recently concluded a study that evaluated the efficacy of two drugs on patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Of the two drugs involved in the study, one was on the more expensive side while the other was moderately priced. The results from the study determined that the price of the drugs played a significant result in how effective the drug proves on its patients. It was found that patients believe expensive drugs to be more effective, because of which they show better results in the treatment.

The study aimed at proving that patients’ perception of the price of a drug affects their view on the efficacy of the drug. To carry on with the experiment, researchers used two drugs, with similar efficacy on patients. However, the drugs varied in their costs. While one of the drugs cost $100 per dose, the other was 15 times more expensive. Interestingly, this information was mainly to trick patients while, in reality, researchers were only using a placebo treatment in each case. The drugs were merely saline solutions.

The study was carried on in two steps- one before administering the shot and one after the procedure. Each time scientists recorded the motor skills of the patients and also took brain scans of each one of them. The results were that patients who believed they were receiving more expensive drug showed 28% improvement in their motor skills. The results are on a comparative basis.

The study’s chief author, Dr. Alberto J. commented that patients’ expectations play a vital role in the outcome of the treatment. He also highlighted that the case is especially significant for Parkinson’s disease patients. The results of the study could help scientists reduce dosages offered to patients.

After the study, when scientists revealed the facts to patients, eight admitted that they believed that the expensive drug was better.

3 Responses

  1. happygirl

    tell someone they’re drinking a rare, expensive wine. then listen to them tell you how good it tastes. Then give them an expensive wine and tell them it came from a box at the dollar store. They’ll tell you how rancid it tastes. ain’t placebo great!?!?

  2. happygirl

    I just want to know where they keep finding these test subjects who don’t know how a blind or double blind experiment works. If someone told me I was going to be receiving an experimental drug, the first thing I would think is that they’re probably not giving me anything at all! So its I guess its actually good that some people don’t read or pay attention to science. They make much better test subjects!


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