Prescribing Placebo Unethical, Fortunately Drugs Such As Bentyl Remain Available


In a world where placebo has been proven efficacious time and time again (except for one single study evaluating placebo versus food for Kwashiorkor), the concept of prescribing a substance - and thus receiving compensation for it - that doesn’t actually do what it is advertised to do remains illegal and generally abhorred.  For the 17th year in a row, the “Sugar Pill Bill” was rejected by majority vote in the House of Representatives.

 Fortunately for providers, there are many non-evidence based therapies that most often have strands of theoretical evidence provided by mouse models or science fair projects or National Enquirer editorials.  These drugs remain locked and loaded for providers to utilize for any and every tricky patient with an unusual constellation of symptoms.  Take Bentyl for example, it is the legal equivalent of selling cherry flavored gummy vitamins under the guise of ecstasy at a Skrillex concert.  But it costs 100x more. Thus, everyone, on some level, wants to believe it works.

“The great thing is, drugs like Bentyl really truly do absolutely nada!  Heck, Simethicone has less side effects than a can of Beenie-Weenies.” added primary care physician Jamie Jordanson.  “If there is a lethal dose, I haven’t reached it yet.  One of my patients is literally prescribed ‘a handful’ with breakfast, lunch, and supper.”

“Hell, maybe these drugs are even placebos for providers,” reflected a particularly self-aware gastroenterologist who preferred to remain anonymous. “Maybe they are our placebo so that we can sleep at night knowing that we at least did something for that $50 copay.”

At The Pannus, we took to the community to see how patients feel about it and found a surprising amount of candid positivity.  “It doesn’t make a difference if it is smushed apple core coated with an M&M shell, just give me some a pill, and I’ll probably feel better.”  - Betty, health care consumer

Thus, we can anticipate that the legendary “sugar pill bill” is going to be continued to be shot down on a national level, but for all of us small people out there, doctors and patients alike, drugs like Ditropan will remain steadfast and faithful.