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Shannon Weidemann
Shannon Weidemann
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Lipitor Ads with Dr. Jarvik Pulled

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Pfizer made the decision today to pull drug ads for Lipitor with Dr. Robert Jarvik. Dr. Jarvik does not hold a medical license and there was some controversy over his use in the Lipitor drug ad. The ads have appeared on tv and in print since 2006. Dr. Jarvik invented the artificial heart. He does have a medical degree but is not licensed to practice medicine.

But House Democrats said the ads could be misleading to consumers because Jarvik appeared to be giving medical advice, even though he is not licensed to practice medicine. While Jarvik holds a medical degree, he did not complete the certification requirements to practice medicine.

Democratic Reps. John Dingell and Bart Stupak said Monday the company made the right decision.

“When consumers see and hear a doctor endorsing a medication, they expect the doctor is a credible individual with requisite knowledge of the drug,” Stupak said.

There was also some controversy over the use of a stunt double used in one ad. It was made to look like Jarvik was rowing a boat but it was actually the stunt double. Pfizer claims they will be more clear in future ads with spokespeople.