Around the Net

Under Pressure, Pfizer Axes Jarvik Lipitor Ads

Pfizer is pulling its long-running advertising campaign using the artificial heart pioneer Robert Jarvik as a spokesman for its cholesterol drug Lipitor. The campaign has come under scrutiny from a congressional committee that is examining consumer drug advertising and has asked whether the ads misrepresented Jarvik and his credentials.

Although he has a medical degree, Jarvik is not a cardiologist and is not licensed to practice medicine. One television ad depicts Jarvik as an accomplished rower gliding across a mountain lake, but the ad uses a body double for the doctor, who apparently does not row.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee investigation has rekindled a debate over so-called direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals, a $4.8 billion business. While endorsing Pfizer's decision, the committee showed no sign of shutting down its investigation.



Read the whole story at The New York Times »

Next story loading loading..