28 February 2008

Not Dr. Jarvik

I've apparently missed out on this because I don't watch network television, but for several years Pfizer has been running commercials featuring Robert Jarvik (artificial heart scientist) sculling on a lake and touting Lipitor to lower cholesterol. But, as noted by Time.com and Consumerist.com, Jarvik can't row (it was a body double in the ads) and is not an expert on cholesterol metabolism; in fact he never did an internship or residency and has never been licensed to practice medicine.

According to a Pfizer spokesman "The way in which we presented Dr. Jarvik in these ads has, unfortunately, led to misimpressions..." Misimpressions, not deception. Not Big Pharma's fault - it's the viewer's fault for misinterpreting the advertising...

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