SPOTLIGHT: Drug ads challenge reputation of inventor


More than 25 years ago, the brilliant Dr. Robert Jarvik invented the artificial heart which made his reputation and fortune. For most of that time, he's been out of the public eye. Now, however, he's appearing in widely-seen television ads for Pfizer's cholesterol drug Lipitor, the world's single best-selling drug. His participation in the ad has stirred up controversy, including questions over the ethics of his appearance, given that he's not currently licensed to practice medicine nor is he a cardiologist. Aside from questions over Dr. Jarvik's conduct, his presence in the Lipitor campaign has added fuel to the ongoing debate over the appropriateness of direct-to-consumer pharma ads. Article

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