Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Dr. Robert Jarvik, inventor of the artificial heart, has been removed as pitchman for Lipitor, the best selling medication on the market. According to the report, Pfizer, the manufacturer of Lipitor, felt pressured to make this move as Dr. Jarvik's credentials have recently come under fire.
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.
Too frequently I read articles and get word back from patients how their therapist or health care provider warned them against some of the pro-active efforts we endorse, like flexible custom orthotics, proteolytic enzymes, chiropractic adjustments, cold laser therapy, etc.
I would like to ask Bart Stupak to tell the public that when a Dr., or any other healthcare authority voices an opinion on a possible course of action a patient is going to take, keep in mind this Dr. may not be intimately knowledgable about what they are saying. In fact, more often than not, they have little to no first hand experience regarding what they are saying.
And, as Norman Cousins said in his book, Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient, "Be careful who you let make a proclamation of doom on you, as that may be the beginning of the end."
May all experts remain experts only in what they are experts at.