Tag Archive for 'perception'

Do expensive drugs treat better?

Oh, the power of perception! It is amazing how complex human nature is and how little we know about the inner-workings of our brains. I was driving home last night and this short report got my attention as I was listening to Public Radio on my car stereo. The scientists from American Medical Association have found that a drug’s price has a significant effect on whether it works or not.

Jeff Tyler: Participants thought they were testing a new drug for pain relief. In fact, everybody got placebos. Only one difference. Some were told the pills cost $2.50, while others were told they only cost a dime. Dan Ariely, author of “Predictably Irrational,” was the lead researcher.

Dan Ariely: What we found was that the expensive pill reduced pain to a much larger degree than the cheap pills.

This somewhat changes my view on the “should I use brand name or generic” dilemma. Even though both have the same active ingredients you might actually be better off using the more expensive brand name drug because in that case your brains will be on your side helping you fight the disease.

What do you think, does this scientific research have legs or is it a secret ploy with pharmaceutical companies trying to sway public opinion? Another thing I am wondering about is if this study could be applied to consumer products as well. Do things sold by Walmart look just as attractive to you as the same products sold elsewhere?

Source: Expensive placebos work better from Marketplace @ Public Radio

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