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Pricey Pills Work Better Even When They're Fake

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By Roni Caryn Rabin
Special to MSNBC

When it comes to painkillers, many people believe “you get what you pay for,” according to a new study that found patients are actually more likely to get relief if they think they’re taking high-priced pain pills.

Volunteers who were given a placebo said to cost $2.50 per pill and described as a “potent opioid-agonist that provides fast-acting, long lasting relief” were much more likely to report pain relief than those given a placebo described as a discounted ten-cent version of the same pill. The study is published as a research letter in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association.

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