#1010: Placebo-oster

Drug companies are concerned about the increasing placebo effect (when the body gets better without medication, just because the patient is convinced that his treatment will be effective).

It seems to me that people having their own bodily defences triggered without having to pay for branded drugs is a good thing.


Today’s invention is intended to bolster the effect and also to create an atmosphere of effective self-help among sufferers of a particular condition.

Anyone who takes a certain drug and which is then successful in treating some serious disease, offers a picture of themselves smiling and recovered. These facial images are reproduced on the packaging of appropriate medicines, together with an empathetic message (and access to an online support community of these volunteers).

One Comment:

  1. My recent reading on the placebo related literature seems to indicate that the effect may be due to the following:
    Since the immune system is so energetically costly to run, it’s actually off most of the time. Only when you get the feeling that there are lots of resources available to you does the system kick in, and you start to show symptoms. This would explain the ‘holiday cold’ phenomenon. Being given anything by a caring medic may trigger the system that says ‘ah, I have enough resources now to get my immune system into action.’

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