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Clinical Researcher: Myths and Realities of Placebo Response – A 21st Century Prescription

Randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials are the most challenging and complex aspect of development and commercialization of new drugs. The costs of conducting trials have continued to increase, trending ever upward. 

One important indicator of clinical research quality is the extent to which trials detect effect signals (i.e., do trials separate experimental treatments from placebo). Rates of placebo response across multiple therapeutic areas are now historically high and progressively increasing. 

In this article, we review three of the commonly shared (but likely false) ideas that clinical researchers have about placebo response. 

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