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As a very quick summary; an article in New Scientist discusses the problem of patients in drug trials (and their doctors) being able to work out whether they're on the real drug due to side effects - and advocates the use of "active placebos" which aren't active in the disease being studied but can produce some similar side effects. Interesting reading: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2 ... cebos.html (you have to register to see it, but it's available with free registration for the next 10 days)
And this article today on placebos working even when patients know that's all they are: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 ... fakes.html
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