I'm kind of late to the party, but I figured I would offer my two cents (probably only worth one and a half in today's stock market) on Michigan Reps. John Dingell and Bart Stupak questioning of Dr. Robert Jarvik's credentials and his role as pitchman for the drug Lipitor. For those of you unaware of the controversy, Dr. Jarvik (an artificial heart pioneer) is not licensed to practice medicine. The Representatives are concerned that consumers may misinterpret the health claims of a prescription drug promoted in a direct-to-consumer advertisement utilizing a celebrity physician. Here are my random observations:
- The Lipitor ads have been running from almost the beginning of 2006. Therefore, the public has seen these ads for almost two years. Yes, I realize that Rep. Dingell was only the Ranking Member on the Committee on Energy and Commerce and not the chairman until recently, but that means he had no say? Why now?
- The Committee on Energy and Commerce “ I know there are over 20 committees in the House, but in today's world, Energy can't have its own committee?
- The House press release said, a Committee Opens Investigation into Celebrity Drug Endorsements? Dr. Jarvik might be a celebrity in the physician world but sorry, I remember Barney Clark's name (the first recipient) and not Jarvik. In fact, I am way more familiar with Clark's wife (Marilyn vos Savant of ask Marilyn and world's smartest person fame). Where are the other celebrities/drug companies they are investigating? Bob Dole, Cal Ripken, Sally Field and Terry Bradshaw all endorse products and are actually celebrities (or were). Are they going to ask them how much they made (or are making) from their advertisements and how often they are using the products? Reps. Dingell and Stupak are both from Michigan. Is it a coincidence that last year Pfizer decided to close their Ann Arbor R&D center and now they are being investigated?