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Designing a disease -- and its drug

An artist creates a drug called Havidol. Say the drug's name out loud, and you get her point

Melinda Wenner
It's just like any other Web site devoted to a drug, really -- the home page for Havidol features an attractive person smiling contentedly, a link to prescribing information (including a chemical formula), and the standard side effects spiel now familiar to anyone who's seen TV drug commercials. The site itself even contains TV and print ads, a self-assessment test to find out if Havidol is right for you, and customer testimonials.But look a bit closer. The drug is described as "the first and only treatment" for dysphoric social attention consumption deficit anxiety disorder, or DSACDAD -- termed "the #1 concern of contemporary life."
Side effects include "co-dependency with inanimate objects," "inter-species communication," and "terminal smile." In rare instances, patients reported a sudden urge to change physicians. In other words, neither the drug, nor the condition it treats, are real.The Web site is the controversial creation of Australian artist Justine...

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