A recent survey found that about half of the doctors in the US often prescribe placebos for their patients. These placebos are usually drugs or vitamins that don't help.
The term placebo applies to any treatment that doesn't help the condition the patient seeks to fix. The "placebo effect" occurs when patients receive ineffective treatment, but recover anyway due to optimism.
An NIH survey found that 62% of doctors believe placebo treatment to be ethical. Only 5% of doctors tell their patients about the placebos. The American Medical Association recommends doctors fully disclose all information about treatment to patients