You may recall seeing Dr. Robert Jarvik‘s pleasant face on your TV screen a few years ago flogging Lipitor, the biggest-selling drug on the planet at that time, earning well over $12 billion a year for Pfizer – the biggest drug company on the planet.
This partnership emerged just as the company was seeking to protect Lipitor from emerging competition by cheaper generics, and just before a U.S. Congressional investigation started looking into Jarvik’s credentials and his controversial role as paid pitchman for the cholesterol-lowering statin drug. Continue reading →
Is it just me, or does this Italian cholesterol drug ad for the Novartis statin called Lescol (fluvastatina in Italian) look like it’s telling cute fat Italians that they can eat, drink, and be merry as long as they pop this statin drug every day?
And it’s about time. The Food & Drug Administration in the U.S. is looking for tattle-tales who are fed up with aggressive prescription drug advertising and promotion practices that skate around the truth. For the sake of clarity, let’s call this “lying”. The FDA’s new and long overdue‘Bad Ad Program’ is asking health care professionals to recognize and report sleazy tactics in:
Big Pharma TV, radio and print advertising
all presentations by pharmaceutical sales reps
all presentations by physicians who are being paid by Big Pharma
all written or printed prescription drug promotional materials
Here are three examples of the ‘bad ads’ that concerned health care professionals are now being asked to look out for: Continue reading →