Everybody needs a good placebo to get them through the day. For Behavioral economist and Predictably Irrational author Dan Ariely, it used to be Airborne. Even though he was mainly sure it didn’t work, that faint glimmer was enough to keep him taking it and cold-free. Then he read new studies that said it was totally placebo. His placebo stopped working thereafter. Luckily, his mom has sent him a new placebo! And he feels right as rain. What’s your favorite placebo? [via BoingBoing]
Yesterday we mentioned that the makers of Airborne had reached a tentative settlement over claims that it falsely represented its product as a “miracle cold buster,” by citing a study done by a research firm that ABCNews describes as “a two-man operation started up just to do the Airborne study. There was no clinic, no scientists and no doctors.”
The Airborne dietary supplement, which claims to help ward off the cold and flu, has reached a tentative settlement in a class action lawsuit that the company misrepresented its product. You can file online or by mail here. Boxes of Airborne used to cite a study by “GNG Pharmaceutical Services Inc” that said it tested 120 people and 47% showed little or no cold flu symptoms, versus 23% of a placebo. However, an ABC news investigation revealed that GNG was a two-man operation started up just to make the Airborne study, and had no clinic, scientists or doctors. Following the negative publicity, Knight-McDowell Labs removed references to the GNG study from its packages. Maybe people just weren’t reading the box carefully and failed to apply directly to the forehead.