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UvA removes ‘study pills’ from university vending machines

Henk Strikkers,
6 september 2018 - 14:16

The UvA has decided to remove the Braincaps ‘study pills’ from vending machines that supply study materials. The effect of Braincaps has not been scientifically proven.

Starting this month, vending machines holding study materials such as markers, notepads and pens have been introduced at seven locations at the UvA. The vending machines, supplied by School-Supply, also contain condoms, lip balms and the Braincaps pills. The Braincaps are to be removed after complaints made by students and staff. Arjan Nuijten, UvA PhD candidate in drug policy said on Twitter that, ‘the operation is shadowy. The university should not encourage this.’


A spokesperson for the UvA said that Braincaps are for sale in vending machines at the Bushuis, Oudemanhuispoort, P.C. Hoofthuis, REC-A, REC-H, Science Park 904 and the UB location Singel. ‘We decided to remove the Braincaps in consultation with School-Supply.’


Study-promoting effect 

Braincaps were developed by a business administration student from Groningen and a medical student at the VU University Amsterdam. They are said to have a study-promoting effect. According to their developers, usage could promote ‘better concentration, improved memory and faster thinking ability’.


Toxicologist Daan Touw of the University of Groningen is critical. ‘If you eat healthily, you don’t need them’, he told the Dutch news channel RTL Z. ‘I am particularly concerned about their long-term effects. Hardly any research has been done into this.’