A new product, a placebo ‘pill’ for children, has just hit the market, with controversy following right behind.
The ‘pill’, a cherry-flavored dextrose tablet, is meant to be given to children who think they need medicine, but don’t. It’s called ‘Obecalp’, which is placebo spelled backward. The inventor says the tablets are made to have the taste and feel of real medicine so parents can give children a placebo when they complain of minor ills and reduce the use of unnecessary drugs.
Experts are speaking up on both sides of the issue. Some say that it’s a harmless way to get children to ‘think’ themselves well. Others say that anything that encourages the use of unnecessary ‘medicine’, even imitation ‘medicine’, is inappropriate for children. Some say that this builds a mental dependence on drugs that could lead to drug dependence throughout life. They say that children should learn that many ills don’t require treatment – that minor discomfort can be handled successfully without drugs. Others say that what children with minor ills really need is comfort from parents, not a quick dose of a fake ‘medicine’.
Read more about this issue here and add your comment below to let us know what you think.