Commenting on the withdrawal of the Jarvik advertising and promotion, Pfizerâ€™s President of Worldwide Pharmaceutical Operations Ian Read said:
â€œ â€¦ the way in which we presented Dr. Jarvik in these ads has, unfortunately, led to misimpressions and distractions from our primary goal of encouraging patient and physician dialogue on the leading cause of death in the world -- cardiovascular disease. We regret this. Going forward, we commit to ensuring there is greater clarity in our advertising regarding the presentation of spokespeople.â€
In other words, the frivolous brouhaha over whether or not Dr. Jarvik can row. A bad creative decision? Certainly. But what are the unintended consequences of this pseudo-debate and Pfizerâ€™s decision to pull the ad? First, it further feeds the resolve of the â€œBan DTCâ€ bund and, secondly and more importantly, may very well negatively impact current statin compliance levels while detering people from asking their physicians about high cholesterol.
And so the question to those enjoying the media feeding frenzy on this issue is -- are the negative public health consequences worth it?