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.
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