Pfizer pulls Lipitor ads criticised as misleading
Date: 26 Feb 2008
Pfizer has said it will pull controversial ads that used artificial heart pioneer Robert Jarvik as a representative for its cholesterol drug Lipitor. The ad campaign had been accused of misrepresenting Dr. Jarvik's credentials.
The critics had suggested that the ads implied Dr. Jarvik was a cardiologist, which he is not. One ad also depicted him rowing skillfully across a mountain lake - the footage was taken using a body double since Dr. Jarvik does not row.
The company said that it regretted the misimpressions created by the ads, which have now been withdrawn. The company promised "greater clarity" in its advertising regarding the presentation of spokespeople.
Lipitor is protected by patent until 2010, but the cholesterol drug market is significant, and the assault from generic alternatives has already begun.
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