Scientists have shown they can reliably predict which chronic pain patients will respond to a sugar placebo pill based on the patients' brain anatomy and psychological characteristics.
According to one of the researchers at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, most pharmacological treatments have long-term adverse effects or addictive properties. Placebo becomes as good an option for treatment as any drug we have on the market.
Some patients have the appropriate psychology and biology that puts them in a cognitive state that as soon as they are told, 'this may make your pain better,' their pain gets better. A sugar pill prescription for chronic pain patients would result in vast cost savings for patients and the health care system.