In re: Jarvik out as Lipitor Pitchman

If you remember my post on Dr. Robert Jarvik and RX advertising (In re: Rx advertising – Liptor and Dr. Jarvik) you’ll recall that he was mostly a celeb indorser of sorts and that his medical creditenals were dubious at best.  Well now in the wake of an investigation into the advertising by the House Energy & Commerce committee Lipitor has stopped running the ads that “have Dr. Jarvik enthusing over Lipitor “as a doctor and a dad,”

Despite the presentation that he is a doctor “he [Jarvik] is actually an inventor and researcher. He has a medical degree, but did not go through residency training and is not licensed to practice medicine or prescribe drugs. The commercials also fail to note that Dr. Jarvik only started taking Lipitor about a month after he started touting its virtues under a contract that would pay him a minimum of $1.35 million over two years.”  See NY Times Lipitor’s Pitchman Gets the Boot

Personally as you may recall I am not a fan of the way Rx companies present drugs to us and the fact that such huge amounts are spent pitching them to people (us) who are really unqualified to choose among the products.  While there may be some dialogs that open up because of the commercials and some ailments that would not have been treated otherwise I think if looked at in total we gotta figure out someway of reigning in the advertising practices without stepping too much on the commercial free speech of the Rx companies (don’t worry though, with their lobbying dollars there is no way they end up with too bad a situation in anything).  Also see WSJ Health Blog: Jarvik: My Credibility Was Justified and Fairly Represented (“The record needs to show that the ad campaign Pfizer tastefully presented to the public, using beautiful natural settings and high tech modern architecture, fairly represents me as a world recognized heart expert.”)


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