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Definition of Placebo

Placebo: A "sugar pill" or any dummy medication or treatment.

For example, in a controlled clinical trial, one group may be given a real medication while another group is given a placebo that looks just like it in order to learn if the differences observed are due to the medication or to the power of suggestion. Placebos are widely used in drug trials.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4917
Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

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