Part 2, Faking Medical Reality « Jon Rappoport’s Blog
I want to alert you to a staggering medical practice in clinical trials of psychiatric drugs.
It’s called “placebo washout.”
Basically, it works this way. Before a drug company starts to test the effectiveness of a new medicine they want to market, they bring together all the volunteers—and they give them a sugar pill.
They tell them, “We’re going to give you a sugar pill.”
After a ten-day period on the placebo, the researchers weed out the people who improved, got better, feel better. They dump them from the ensuing clinical trial. Bye bye.
They don’t want these people around for the real clinical trial that is to follow.
Of course, they claim there are good reasons for this washout strategy. But the fact is, eliminating these volunteers from the study makes it far more likely that the drug being tested will look good, when it shouldn’t.
First, in case you don’t believe placebo washout is a real and widespread practice, do a search for it at the NIH website.
It’s real. They give everybody a sugar pill, and then they dismiss all those who got better on it.
Then they get down to the actual clinical trial. They divide the remaining volunteers into two groups. Those who will receive the drug, and those who will be given another placebo.
Nobody is told which group they’re going to be in. That’s the whole point. Blinding the study enables researchers to compare the number of people who get better on the drug with those who get better on the placebo.
You see, it’s common knowledge that some people will get better on anything. That’s why they form the two groups. They have to prove (to the FDA) the drug is performing better than the sugar pill.
General estimates vary on what percentage of people get better on placebos. 35-45%, some researchers say, is a rule of thumb. Sometimes the % is higher.
But wait! The researchers ALREADY kicked out the people who got better on the sugar pill during the 10-day preliminary washout!
What’s going on here?
Well, in the actual clinical trial, where half the people get the placebo and half get the medicine, some people who get the placebo—armed with the hope that they might be getting the medicine—will feel better, even though they’re only swallowing sugar pills.
And the researchers must show that more people who are getting the drug are feeling better than those who are getting the placebo.
That’s the whole reason for this type of clinical trial.
“See, 47 people who took the drug feel better. And only 22 people who took the sugar pill feel better. Therefore, the drug really works.”
Sure it works. Because you already kicked out all the people who felt better on a placebo in the washout phase.
In effect, you did a screening. You “cut out the competition.”
It’s like saying, “We have a great runner on our team. His times in the 100-meter dash are exceptional…there’s only one thing. In track meets, we insist he run only 80 meters and you have to imagine it’s 100.”
The FDA, which approves all drugs for public use, knows all about the placebo washout con job. Researchers know this. Shrinks know this. Drug companies know this. Even some medical reporters know this.
And yet, the practice goes on.