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Pfizer Drops Jarvik Ads Under Pressure

  • Bloomberg, Tuesday, February 26, 2008 10:30 AM
Drug giant Pfizer Inc. is canning that ad campaign for anti-cholesterol pill Lipitor that features Robert Jarvik, the inventor of an artificial heart, as Congress probes whether the commercials are misleading. Pfizer is "committing to ensuring greater clarity in the roles and responsibilities of its spokespeople in consumer advertising and promotion," company says.

Legislators began looking into the ads last month when it came out that Jarvik, who appears to be giving medical advice, isn't licensed to practice medicine. said Representatives John Dingell and Bart Stupak, Michigan Democrats. "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," Pfizer says.

The company adds that it will start a new effort behind Lipitor -- which generates as much as 40% of its total profit -- in the next few weeks. Pfizer almost $140 million on the Jarvik ad campaign through October, according to market research firm Nielsen Monitor Plus.



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