Doctors warned today that made-up disease M.E. – also known as ‘yuppy flu’ – is developing resistance to all known placebos.
‘It’s really worrying’, said a leading clinician. ‘M.E. isn’t actually an illness, of course, but it still takes up a lot of GP time, especially in middle-class areas and university towns. Many strains of M.E. are now resistant to all but the strongest placebos – crushed Polo mints dissolved in water – and the old standbys of sugar tablets, hypnosis or acupuncture are completely useless against it. They’re completely ineffective against everything else as well, but they used to be quite handy with M.E.’
Experts warned that this is only the latest salvo in the evolutionary arms race between non-existent diseases and meaningless treatments. ‘If present trends continue’, said one ‘we could face a public health event of no consequence whatsoever’.