Friday, June 25, 2010

Take two placebos ...

Reuters reports on the FDA's reaction to a new drug aimed at the "female viagra" market.

The most interesting bit is actually this:
Boehringer, a privately held German drugmaker, said its data showed the drug provided a meaningful benefit for women who are bothered by their low sex drive and have limited options. The number of satisfying sexual experiences rose to an average of 4.5 per month from 2.8. For placebo patients the rate jumped to 3.7. Women took the drug for six months.
Unlike the drug, the placebos have, of course, no side effects.

I'll confess I've always wanted to find the time to read more about the placebo effect, which strikes me as quite important and also quite a puzzle for current medical models.

For those who are keeping track, this is a medical post and not a sex post. In case you were wondering.

Hat tip: Charlie Brown (from whom I stole the title)

1 comment:

Jason Kerwin said...

Jeff -

I strongly recommend you check out the book "Snake Oil Science" by R. Barker Bausell, a biostatistician who is the former head of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. It provides a detailed explanation of all the effects that are commonly lumped together as the "placebo effect". Bausell also includes a whole chapter on how skeptics should take advantage of the placebo effect and how they should help their relatives do so.