health care

British Doctors Regularly Prescribe Phony Treatments

Take two placebos and call me in the morning

|

More than three-quarters of British doctors prescribe a treatment they know probably won't work at least once a week, like low-dose drugs, vitamins, nutritional supplements or an unnecessary exam, according to a new survey.

This use of placebo treatments directly contradicts advice from the British Medical Association, which deems them unethical.

The researchers say the findings reveal a common practice among doctors and should be used to change official guidance about using placebos. The surveyed doctors said they prescribed them to induce a "placebo effect," to reassure patients or because patients pushed for a treatment