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Study carried out by the University of Oxford and University of Southampton suggests most family doctors have given a placebo to at least one of their patients,

Dr Jeremy Howick, Department of Primary Care Health Sciences
Dr Jeremy Howick, Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

In a poll, 97% of 783 GPs admitted that they had recommended a sugar pill or a treatment with no established efficacy for the ailment their patient came in with.

The PLOS One study authors, who include Jeremy Howick, Carl Heneghan, Sarah Stevens and Richard Hobbs, say this may not be a bad thing - doctors are doing it to help, not to deceive patients.

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