A fruit-flavored comfort pill for children which is
actually a placebo has been roundly criticised by doctors. A company called
Efficacy is marketing these pills by the trade name Obecalp in the US and these
may also be marketed in the UK.
Dr Douglas Kamerow, an associate editor of the British
Medical Journal, said the pill was a bad idea. "If parents use placebos to
comfort their children, what are they teaching them? That tablets are the
answer for all our aches and pains, and perhaps all our other problems too? Not
advisable," he wrote.
Dr Clare Gerada, from the Royal College of GPs, also
reacted in the same manner. "It is telling them that unless you give your
children this pill, there's nothing else," she added.
Jennifer Buettner of
Efficacy said the pills were meant to help the body heal itself. However
doctors did not find favor with these arguments.