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[teacherartexchange] advertising and 'Big Pharm'


From: Sears, Ellen (ELLEN.SEARS_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Mar 23 2007 - 10:23:48 PDT

This came in 'The Scientist' e-journal.


New Zealand and the US are the only two countries that allow drug
advertising - although in other countries they have found a way around
The power of persuasion in art -

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

[Published 23rd March 2007 04:41 PM GMT]
 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

Links within this article


Justine Cooper

Daneyal Mahmood Gallery

K. Grens, "The most intimate self portrait," The Scientist, March 16,

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