I'm just curious to see if NOT delivering any pill (pretending that the drug is not yet available) might have a positive effect comparable to giving a fake pill (placebo effect), in clinical trials - or to boost ROI for health insurance companies, by pretending that the drug will be available only in several weeks. And from an experimental design point of view, how do you perform such a test - no pill vs. placebo vs. real pill, to see what works best, based on medical issue, patient and drug?
I believe it depends on the patient - it works for me because with no pills, I know I need to fight the disease / health condition myself alone (possibly with some crowdsourcing help), and it makes me stronger and not worried as I no longer have to listen to scary pronostics. This strength built up over several years, thanks to US healthcare and how it works, for example:
However, I believe this reverse-placebo effect does not work for most patients, maybe it works just for 10-20% of all patients. Should we identify who could benefit from such low-cost (zero dollar) healthcare?
Obviously no pharmaceutical company is ever going to finance such clinical trials due to conflict of interests, and maybe everyone who react like me (reverse-placebo) already spend very little to nothing in official healthcare, so there's no gain to do some research that would convince us that we can do better with less official health care. What do you think?
To summarize, not using any drug (claiming the drug is not yet available) might have a better effect than placebo, possibly a better effect than the real drug, depending on the patient and medical condition (especially for medical conditions that are stable over time). In short, how do you identify combinations of patient types / drugs / medical conditions where, in terms of effect, produce the following: placebo < drug < no drug?
Interesting conjecture, but I doubt it would be approved by an human subjects review board.
Actually, most routine medical "problems" will resolve themselves in 2-4 weeks without treatment in the average person of reasonably good health. The body's immune system and natural healing abilities will take care of it just fine without external intervention. It'd be interesting to see if nothing vs something would pan out to prove that doing nothing is better than intervention in most cases.
The biggest factor in most maladies is related to stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise. Boring - we've all heard it before, but it's true. If we reduce our stress, eat healthier foods, and just go for a daily walk we'll all feel much better, lead happier lives, and be a more successful human being. We tend to want to be lazy and just take a pill instead.