Placebos used not to be used in studies

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.311.7020.1641 (Published 16 December 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1641
  1. F Dudley Hart
  1. Honorary consultant physician Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London SW10 9NH

    EDITOR,--I qualified in medicine before the second world war, when clinical trials were not the common events that they later became in hospital practice. In the prewar and early postwar years we used to ask patients to give us signed permission to add or substitute new drugs in their treatment without informing them; there was no placebo.1

    In the early days of corticosterone treatment for rheumatic disorders in 1949 …

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