It’s also an excellent send-up of drugs created for their market potential rather than their curative abilities. On this, we can take note of an article by Dr. Iona Health et al., Selling Sickness: the Pharmaceutical Industry and Disease Mongering (worthy of mention not just because of the author’s name):
Some forms of medicalising ordinary life may now be better described as disease mongering: widening the boundaries of treatable illness in order to expand markets for those who sell and deliver treatments. Pharmaceutical companies are actively involved in sponsoring the definition of diseases and promoting them to both prescribers and consumers. The social construction of illness is being replaced by the corporate construction of disease.
Since the easiest ‘lifestyle medications’ to market are those for which the symptoms are subjective, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has become something of a battleground. Brendan Koerner chronicles this in his article, Disorders Made to Order, which concludes:
Expect the publicity machine for something akin to “persistent purchasing disorder” to rev up soon.
And that, I suppose, would be Havitol (TM).