Developing Analgesia Studies, Use of Placebo Control in the EU
There is longstanding debate on the use of placebo control in clinical trials. Critics of placebo-controlled trials argue that using placebo sacrifices the welfare of patients and is unethical if a proven therapy exists. Analgesia studies are complicated by the potential effects of a robust placebo response, not only because of the subjectivity of pain measurement, but also due to the variability in patient responses to both analgesics and placebo. Michael Kuss and his team at Premier Research review the regulatory, ethical, cultural, and even financial considerations surrounding the issue of placebo control in analgesia clinical trials.