After a number of published - or, more often, unpublished - studies called into serious doubt whether antidepressants were any more effective in treating clinical depression than placebos, Big Pharma giant Smerck & Co. transformed a potentially catastrophic medical humiliation into a veritable revolution in the business of treating depression - by launching its most popular depression product yet: prescription placebos, or "RxPs."
“These pills are truly magical,” boasted effusive Smerck CEO Kent Frasier. “Scientifically speaking, we have no idea how they work. But they work wonders!"
Smerck's prescription placebos come in a variety of colors, from mood-cheering pink or yellow to a more intense onyx black. Unlike chemical antidepressants, which have an array of side effects, including loss of libido, increase in suicidal thoughts, and constipation, RxPs have no side effects and are just as effective in treating basic depression disorder as their pharmaceutical brethren. And they have a variety of off-label uses, suitable for treating everything from anxiety to ADHD.
“And not that we’re opposed to this sort of thing,” said Frasier, “but they also haven’t been tested on animals - since we didn't have to test them at all."
But possibly the best thing about Smerck’s new prescription placebos, at least from a business perspective?
"Zero corporate risk," said Frasier. "There's no danger of a new study coming out showing that they’re no more effective than placebos - because they are placebos."
Frasier did emphasize, however, that Smerck’s new RxPs are not intended as a substitute for any pharmaceutical antidepressants that people may already be taking.
"But they can certainly be used to treat the side effects of chemical antidepressants," he stated.