The Placebo Effect and the Pharmaceutical Industry

Leading Article


The placebo effect has long been recognised in medical practice and numerous definitions of the placebo effect and its cause have been proposed. While having a significant impact on study design, it can also be of such a magnitude that pivotal trials demonstrating the superiority of a drug over placebo are difficult to achieve.

This review discusses the factors contributing to the placebo response and why it is such an important consideration for the pharmaceutical industry when designing drug studies. The ethical use of placebos will also be considered, with particular reference to the Declaration of Helsinki and the rights of an individual against the rights of a study population as a whole.


Placebo Irritable Bowel Syndrome Sertraline Placebo Effect Placebo Response 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Both authors are current employees of Pfizer Ltd.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pfizer LtdSandwich LaboratoriesSandwich, KentEngland

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