• Quote of the Day
    "In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived,
    and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you."
    The Buddha, posted by David Baxter


Aug 17, 2005

Pfizer Pulls Lipitor Ads With Heart Expert Jarvik

NEW YORK (Reuters) Feb 25 - Pfizer Inc said on Monday it was voluntarily withdrawing advertising for its Lipitor cholesterol drug featuring Dr. Robert Jarvik, inventor of the Jarvik artificial heart, because its ads led to "misimpressions."

The ads involving Jarvik had come under scrutiny, including from a U.S. House of Representative Committee as part of an investigation into celebrity endorsements of prescription medicines.

Democratic lawmakers had voiced concern that Jarvik's qualifications were misrepresented in widely seen television commercials touting the blockbuster drug. They said he seemed to be dispensing medical advice even though he is not a practicing physician.

On his Web site, Jarvik describes himself as a medical scientist who has worked in the field of artificial hearts for 36 years and does not practice clinical medicine or treat individual patients.

"The way in which we presented Dr. Jarvik in these ads has, unfortunately, led to misimpressions and distractions from our primary goal of encouraging patient and physician dialogue on the leading cause of death in the world -- cardiovascular disease. We regret this," Ian Read, Pfizer's president of worldwide pharmaceutical operations, said in a statement.

"Going forward, we commit to ensuring there is greater clarity in our advertising regarding the presentation of spokespeople," Read said.


What has been your impression of this ad campaign? Have you characterized Dr. Jarvik as dispensing medical advice in these commercials? Are there other celebrity endorsements of medications that you find questionable?

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