What is a Placebo?

If you or someone you know is considering taking part in a clinical trial, this brochure is for you. It is intended to help you understand what placebos are, and why they are used in clinical trials. We developed this brochure together with subject matter experts, patient advocates, and members of the public, to make sure the topics, language, images, and design are appropriate and engaging.

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This brochure was also reviewed by an Institutional Review Board (IRB), which is also known as an independent ethics committee. The IRB review ensures the brochure follows ethical guidelines for providing information about clinical research to patients and the public.

Topics Include:

  • What is a Placebo?
  • Why are Placebos Used in Clinical Trials?
  • How Placebos are Used in Clinical Trials
  • Will Participants Receive a Placebo
  • Are Participants Told if They Receive a Placebo

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