No, says Marcel Bouvy, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Utrecht University, in the Dutch daily Telegraaf. “No one has ever been able to prove that these pills boost concentration. People are looking for a miracle cure that doesn’t exist.” Not mincing words, he goes on to describe the popular pills as ‘overpriced rubbish’ and ‘quackery’.
The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority has also taken a decidedly sceptical stance on the supposed magical properties of such pills. “We don’t recommend taking study drugs,” the organisation writes on its website, stating that the pills could even be harmful if they contain too many vitamins, minerals or herbs.
Meanwhile, the pills’ manufacturers remain firmly behind their product, referring to studies which they say prove the efficacy of the drugs’ active ingredients. According to the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, however, the active ingredients in study drugs are also found in a normal, healthy diet. And a cup of coffee or two (don’t go crazy now) can also do wonders for your concentration.