Friday, February 08, 2008

Congress Questions Jarvik's Lipitor Ads

Speaking of big pharma, it's so sad how Dr. Jarvik, the inventor of the artificial heart, has consented (likely for big bucks*) to be the "face" of Lipitor. I believe the U.S. is the only country that allow direct-to-consumer marketing of prescription drugs. Funny how we get so bent out of shape about illegal drugs but not about prescription drugs, which can be just as lethal, if not more...

(p.s. there's an article in the NYT about how the vigorous man shown sculling [rowing] in the river thanks to the benefits of Lipitor isn't even Dr. Jarvik himself! Apparently he hates the outdoors...)

** according to the ABC news, it was 1.35 million (via the blog Pharmalot).
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AP DataStreamAAA - Jan. 08, 2008

WASHINGTON_House Democrats are investigating whether consumers are being misled by advertisements for Lipitor, featuring the world-renowned inventor of an artificial heart.

In the ads, which began their heavy rotation in 2006, Dr. Robert Jarvik talks about the benefits of Pfizer's cholesterol-lowering drug, the world's best-selling medication.

Michigan Reps. John Dingell and Bart Stupak sent a letter to Pfizer Monday, questioning Jarvik's credibility.

"In the ads, Dr. Jarvik appears to be giving medical advice, but apparently, he has never obtained a license to practice or prescribe medicine," the lawmakers state. A spokesman for Dingell on Monday could not confirm whether Jarvik is certified to practice medicine, but cited media reports that he never took an internship or practiced medicine.

Jarvik could not be reached by phone Monday evening.

According to the Web site of his company, Jarvik holds a degree in engineering from New York University and a medical degree from the University of Utah.

After earning a medical degree, physicians must complete a series of tests to earn certification to practice medicine.

Pfizer spokesman Chris Loder said Jarvik's presence in the advertisements is meant to educate consumers on the importance heart health.

read more here.

3 comments:

adrian2514 said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, it always has great insight. But I am very frustrated with the fact that so few people are talking about presidential candidates and their thoughts on global warming. Now that it is down to just a few candidates I would think that this would be a bigger issue.

Live Earth just picked up this topic and put out an article ( http://www.liveearth.org/news.php ) live earth is also asking why the presidential candidates are not being solicited for their stance on the issue of the climate change. I just saw a poll on www.EarthLab.com that says people care a lot about what their next leader thinks of global warming. Does anyone know of another poll or other results about this subject?

Here is the page where I saw the EarthLab poll: http://www.earthlab.com/life.aspx. This is a pretty legit website; they are endorsed by Al Gore and the alliance for climate protection and they have a carbon footprint calculator. Does anyone have a strong opinion about this like I do? No matter what your political affiliation is or who you vote for this is an important issue for our environment, our economy and for homeland security.

Green Fertility Marie said...

What can I say? I also think global warming is huge...see all my posts on the spread of malaria, for which the so called remedy is more pesticides!

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