Last week a research group from the university of Cincinnati published an article that suggests a better effectiveness of more expensive drugs than cheaper ones. At least, that was the perception of the participants of this Parkinson’s disease study. In fact, a group of 12 patients used two formulations of the same placebo drug. They were told that one of the drugs was 100 dollar per dose and that the other drug was 1500 dollar per dose. Next to this, the participants were told that although the drugs were priced differently, the effect should be equal. Before and after the intake of these formulations, they took several tests to measure their motor skills and had brain scans to measure motor activity. When receiving the expensive drugs, participants scored approximately 28 percent better compared to participants receiving the cheap ones. This research might be interesting in the general opinion of sharing the costs of medications with patients. Sharing the costs improves the awareness of taking expensive drugs – would it improve the effect as well?
Espay et al., Neurology 2015;84:1-9
by Bas Vreugendenhil