In a recent study, researchers found a patient's perception or expectation of a drug based on how much it costs, significantly affects the drug's efficacy. The medical team gave a group of volunteers with Parkinson's disease two shots of a placebo drug for the disease and participants were not told it was a simple saline solution. Doctors told the patients they were receiving two drugs, one shot and then the second after the first wore off. Prior to administering the shots, doctors told the participants each drug had proven equally effective, but one cost $100 per dose and the other cost $1,500 per dose. Both doses were the exact same saline solution.
Results showed the 'expensive' placebo minimized hand shaking and improved motor skills among the Parkinson's disease patients more effectively than did the 'cheap' placebo. Researchers also found the difference in efficacy was most pronounced among patients who admitted to expecting an improved result from the expensive version of the drug. The study was recently published in the journal Neurology. I think I can. I think I can. . .