By Daniel R. Matlis
For years I have been joking about some company marketing a sugar pill based on clinical trial data supporting the “placebo effect”.
I never thought I would see the day when this prediction would come true.
Well, today is the day. Efficacy Brands LLC has begun selling Obecalp “…the First Standardized Branded and Pharmaceutical Grade Placebo…”
Jennifer Buettner, the brains behind Obecalp, offers this rational for the product. “Children, adults and seniors shouldn’t be given any type of drug when one is not needed. Until I invented Obecalp there weren’t any options. Now, with Obecalp, the medical authority figure, whether it be a doctor, nurse, or mommy can decide if medicine is needed. If not, Obecalp might just be the answer.” (Why can’t dad be the medical authority figure?)
I could not believe my eyes when she added, “Manufacturing Obecalp with the cGMP process assures our consumers that they are purchasing the finest pharmaceutical grade placebo.”
Wow, where do I start… This is wrong is so many ways.
Asserting to follow cGMPs to manufacture a sugar pill designed to do nothing? Nice marketing!!!
I agree that we should not give children or adults medicines they don’t need. So instead, we should lie to them and tell them that a sugar pill will make them better?
What’s the message we are conveying to the next generation? A pill can solve all your problems? (I know, we have not made pills in a long time, we now make tablets, caplets, gel-caps, etc.)
When one of my children gets a boo-boo, I have found that “kissing the boo-boo better” works in the vast majority of cases. When that doesn’t, I escalate the treatment to hugs and kisses.
And if I have to resort to sugar to make them feel better, I provide it in the form of a “non cGMP manufactured” lollypop or USDA regulated ice-cream.
The sad part of the story is that, at a reported $5.95 for 50 tablets, Efficacy Brands will probably make lots of money selling Pharmaceutical Grade Placebo tablets.