Committee on Energy and Commerce Opens Investigation into Celebrity Drug Endorsements
WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 2008 - Reps. John D. Dingell (D-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Bart Stupak (D-MI), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, announced today that they are opening an investigation into the use of celebrity endorsements of prescription medications in direct-to-consumer advertising, specific to Dr. Robert Jarvikâ€™s appearance in Pfizerâ€™s Lipitor Commercials.
â€œWe are concerned that consumers might be misled by Pfizerâ€™s television ads for Lipitor starring Dr. Jarvik,â€ said Dingell. â€œIn the ads, Dr. Jarvik appears to be giving medical advice, but apparently, he has never obtained a license to practice or prescribe medicine.â€
â€œDr. Jarvikâ€™s appearance in the ads could influence consumers into taking the medical advice of someone who may not be licensed to practice medicine in the United States,â€ said Stupak. â€œAmericans with heart disease should make medical decisions based on consultations with their doctors, not on paid advertisements during a commercial break.â€