Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dr. Robert Jarvik Not a Medical Doctor

Dr. Robert Jarvik, inventor of the Jarvik artificial heart.

I hear his voice on TV almost every night shilling for Lipitor, the cholesterol medication. "Dr. Robert Jarvik". They always say his name this way. I always assumed he was a medical doctor. Otherwise, why would they introduce him this way in a commercial for a medication? A doctor says it's good. That's what I heard.

But he's not a medical doctor, he's an engineer with a medical degree who has never practiced medicine a day in his life.

Congress is now investigating this as potential fraud.

International Herald Tribune (AP): Congress questions Jarvik's Lipitor lip service, credentials as part of celebrity-pitch probe

1 comment:

Claire said...

It's true, no license=not allowed to give medical advice, legally speaking anyway, but then is he really giving medical advice? To give medical advice a doctor needs a patient. Writing an article or making an infomercial--which is what these commercials are--is not technically medical advice. At least it wouldn't be if, say, Martha Stewart was endorsing the product. It does touch on the truth in advertising issue, but the FDA endorses Lipitor so that seems to cover product cred nicely. But the fact that Jarvik never treated patients pushes his credibility. He's an engineer, an inventor, with a medical degree. Smart guy--but no reason to trust him with my cholesterol issues.