Wednesday, February 06, 2008

And Speaking of Artificial Hearts...

Those Lipitor (atorvistatin) ads featuring Robert Jarvik make me puke. (Only recently could I fully appreciate the connection with Pfizer's commercials and emesis.) Of all the drug company commercials, this is the most non-sequitur. The basic premise is:
  • I'm a doctor.
  • I invented an artificial heart.
  • I take Lipitor.
  • I feel great.
  • You should take Lipitor.
  • You'll feel great.
  • You'll be a doctor.
  • You'll invent an artificial heart.
Why did this bother me? Maybe it's because I know Jarvik never has seen patients, he's no cardiologist, and he hasn't done much since crafting together a mechanical artificial heart that was only implanted in a small number of patients because it turned out to cause lots of strokes. Maybe I am jealous of his success. Maybe I just really despise drug company commercials. Maybe it's because simvastatin (the generic form of Zocor) is way cheaper and has the same effect as Lipitor. Maybe it's because Jarvik looks like Randall from Monsters, Inc.

Okay, maybe not that last one.

It turns out that some other people think the Jarvik Lipitor relationship is fishy. There's a big splash in the NYTimes today about how Jarvik misrepresents his physical activity level in the commercial where he is rowing in a scull across Washington State's Lake Crescent.

Someone did dome pretty good digging on this one.

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