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The power of placebo

Is there more to the placebo effect than bedside manner?

When any meta analysis of acupuncture illustrates a low response rate, the word placebo is used as a pejorative, but it’s much more than that. As Ted Kaptchuck illustrates in his TED Talk, when the mere words on pill labeling was switched, there was a significant change in patient response — so what does that say about the efficacy of some drugs?. There seems to be a blatant double standard applied to the efficacy of a treatment when it’s acupuncture.

20 most common drugs
2 Turns out, acetaminophen, a common pain reliever, is the leading cause of acute liver failure.

The chart in this meta analysis shows a list of drugs used for the 20 most common therapies, of which, approximately 25% show between a medium and large positive patient response to the drug.

Having a low to minimum efficacy is the best outcome when compared to some of the more insidious effects, as quoted below.

In the midst of a growing opioid epidemic, do we have a collective responsibility to shift to a integrative approach to pain management? According the 3CDC, from 2014 — 2018, opioid deaths rose from 47,523 to 68,690 (a 45.5% increase).

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