January 7, 2010
Who has time for jet lag anymore? And why go through all the trouble of sleeping yourself into normalcy and maybe catching up on some late-night television when you could just stim yourself out and power through to the next time zone? These are the questions being asked by the drug-maker Cephalon as it seeks to market its newest stimulant, Nuvigil, for the treatment of jet lag and other causes of sleepiness, like working the graveyard shift. Meanwhile its anti-narcoleptic billion-dollar cashcow Provigil (aka trucker coke) inches closer to generic competition in 2012. The first step to marketing new stims is, of course, thinking of something that makes people tired normally and then turning it into a medical condition. Enter jet lag disorder.
The New York Times says,
A jet-lag antidote might seem to be the latest lifestyle drug, a further step in the “medicalization” of something that is not an illness. But sleep specialists, who call the affliction “jet lag disorder,” say that while not exactly a disease, it is a condition that can be dangerous — as when someone tries to drive a car right after arriving in a distant time zone … Some studies suggest that disruption of the daily rhythms can contribute to obesity, mental illness and other ailments.
Jet lag disorder joins a whole host of ailments that have been cooked up to sell drugs.