Saturday, January 12, 2008

Why are the Lipitor ads still on? (Or) Does the Congress matter anymore?

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Trust me, I am not on an anti-Pfizer streak or anything. But, I had just posted this in passing in one of my other blog...and I thought Pfizer would be quick to react and actually take Dr. Jarvik off the air...

See, it was a lesson in deception I had to learn again. When the dude Jarvik first started showing up, I really thought this guy used to practice at some point of time...even if he was not practicing as of the time the ad was up.

However, when the Congressional investigation first started, I thought, "Hey, that must be a mistake". And then reality kicked in..

Here I am, arrogant enough to think I am a "healthcare professional" and assuming that I know a thing or two about how things work...but look what just happened!

Okay, where is the FDA now? Why is Congress the only party concerned?

Boy, regardless of the answers to all those questions, one thing is for sure - Pfizer has a sucky PR department...

Their claim to fame in the whole game is that Dr. Jarvik asks "patients to consult their physicians".

I see, so this is the "barely legal" version of the generics world.

So does Congress not matter anymore? Yeah, it doesn't - unless they rope Pfizer, the Boniva guys and the FDA for its now infamous inaction on such matters.

Rewind back to 2004 when the friendly, neighborhood FDA was supposed to rope in on all Direct To Customer Ads such as Paxil, Wellbutrin and so on? Whatever happened to all that?

Does the FDA actually tell us what they plan to do or what they are supposed to be doing but won't do?

Its good that the T.Rex has woken, now it must take action on all parties concerned....wonder how many innocent people thought Dr. Jarvik was giving them free medical advice..

As for Pfizer, are they testing someone's patience with such PR disasters: Nektar, Nigeria, Dr. Jarvik...what next?

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Marilyn said...

Keep up the good work. Cheers:-)

Aubrey Blumsohn said...

Now (at least in the UK) they have a fireman making comments. It is not clear that he is any more a fireman than Jarvic is a clinician.

The Pfizer Fireman

Srihari Yamanoor said...

Hello Aubrey,

Well that is a good first step. At least, the fireman is some fireman and we won't trust him as much as we would have accidentally trusted Dr. Jarvik.

In the beginning when the ads showed up, I did trust that Dr. Jarvik practices, and though it is quite possible he is qualified, somehow the deception threw me off. There is just something about those ads that did not sit well...