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PLoS Med. 2005 Mar;2(3):e72. Epub 2005 Mar 29.

Is it always unethical to use a placebo in a clinical trial?

Author information

1
Institute of Medical Epidemiology, Biometry, and Informatics at the Medical Faculty of the Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. andreas.stang@medizin.uni-halle.de

Abstract

Placebos are used in trials to conceal whether a treatment is being given or not and hence to control for the psychosomatic effects of offering treatment. Placebo-controlled trials are controversial. Critics of such trials argue that if a proven effective therapy exists, a placebo should not be used. But proponents argue that placebo trials are still crucial to prove the efficacy and safety of many treatments.

PMID:
15783259
PMCID:
PMC1069666
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pmed.0020072
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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