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...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?