For years I’ve been interested in the so-called “placebo effect,” where some non-pharmaceutical element such as a sugar pill ~ when administered to an unknowing patient or test subject ~ actually outperforms the medicine against which it’s being tested.
Placebos are one of the most profound examples of mind-over-matter ever scientifically documented.
According to a recent, excellent Wired magazine article, placebos are somehow getting stronger. In clinical FDA testing, placebos are outperforming many new “medicines” developed by pharmaceutical giants and are even proving more effective than long-standing medications such as Prozac.
As you can imagine, this new development is playing havoc with the pharmaceutical industry. I'm wondering if this could be linked to the evolving human consciousness, though there's little chance that conventional science would support that hypothesis. According to Wired:
From 2001 to 2006, the percentage of new products cut from development after Phase II clinical trials, when drugs are first tested against placebo, rose by 20 percent. The failure rate in more extensive Phase III trials increased by 11 percent, mainly due to surprisingly poor showings against placebo. Despite historic levels of industry investment in R&D, the US Food and Drug Administration approved only 19 first-of-their-kind remedies in 2007—the fewest since 1983—and just 24 in 2008. Half of all drugs that fail in late-stage trials drop out of the pipeline due to their inability to beat sugar pills.As a result of this, scientists are finally dedicating more study to the mind’s ability to heal our bodies.
. . . It's not only trials of new drugs that are crossing the futility boundary. Some products that have been on the market for decades, like Prozac, are faltering in more recent follow-up tests. In many cases, these are the compounds that, in the late '90s, made Big Pharma more profitable than Big Oil. But if these same drugs were vetted now, the FDA might not approve some of them.
. . . It's not that the old meds are getting weaker, drug developers say. It's as if the placebo effect is somehow getting stronger. The fact that an increasing number of medications are unable to beat sugar pills has thrown the industry into crisis. The stakes could hardly be higher. In today's economy, the fate of a long-established company can hang on the outcome of a handful of tests.
Long overdue, in my humble opinion.
Click here for the complete Wired article.