Statin Drugs: Jarvik Ads Withdrawn

Pfizer pulls TV ads with heart expert Jarvik

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc said on Monday it was pulling television advertisements for its Lipitor cholesterol drug featuring Dr. Robert Jarvik, inventor of the Jarvik artificial heart, because they created “misimpressions.”

The ads involving Jarvik had come under scrutiny from a U.S. House of Representative committee as part of an investigation into celebrity endorsements of prescription medicines.

Democratic lawmakers had voiced concern that Jarvik’s qualifications were misrepresented in widely seen TV commercials touting the blockbuster drug. They said Jarvik seemed to be dispensing medical advice even though he is not a practicing physician.

The commercials, which portray Jarvik in various outdoor activities, also raised eyebrows after news reports that a stunt double was used in a scene with a man rowing across a lake.

Emphasis added by me.

Steve Salerno called it. Nice work, Steve.

I have some questions for Jarvik:

1) What is your prescription dose?

2) How long have you been taking it?

3) Are you taking a CoEnyzme-Q10 supplement?

4) Are you taking any vitamin/mineral supplements?

5) How are your facial muscles?

6) How is your outlook on life?

7) How is your long-term memory?

8) How is your short-term memory?

9) How is your vision?

10) How are your tendons?

Here is one Jarvik ad (not the infamous one, but it will do):

Look at these two stills of Jarvik’s face:

jarvik001.jpg

jarvik002.jpg

I’m going to bring up something that risks having me look like I’m on the lunatic fringe, but here goes.

I’m wondering if Jarvik is experiencing one of the side effects I had from Simvastatin. This side-effect is a downward pull of the facial muscles. It becomes basically impossible to genuinely smile (not, being made miserable by the drug, would you want to!). Trying to raise the facial muscles to create a smile is like lifting a one-ton weight.

Notice Jarvik’s mouth again, with this overlay:

jarvik003.jpg

I had the same downward droop.

I don’t know Jarvik. This might be a feature of his physiognomy.

But still, I have to wonder: Can you smile, Jarvik? Freely, truly, and genuinely smile?

Previously here:

Statin Drugs: More Better!
Statin Drugs: Pain For Nothing
Statin Drugs: Survey
Simvastatin Made Me Insane
Simvastatin: This Happened To Me Too!
Simvastatin Vs. My Mind
Stopping My Statin
Give Me Back My Mind!

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