The ads involving Jarvik had come under scrutiny from a U.S. House of Representative committee as part of an investigation into celebrity endorsements of prescription medicines.It's worse than this, showing you, once again, the shoddy work product of the craven and corporate-beholden media. He's not even a licensed physician. It's not that he's just inactive, which seems to be implied by the Reuters article, he's not a doctor. At all. Just as someone who has a degree in law and never passed the bar is not an attorney.
Democratic lawmakers had voiced concern that Jarvik's qualifications were misrepresented in widely seen TV commercials touting the blockbuster drug. They said Jarvik seemed to be dispensing medical advice even though he is not a practicing physician.
He's really an engineer (Masters Degree in Medical Engineering - NYU) who went to medical school (University of Utah) so he could better design prosthetics. But never completed an internship or residency and has never been licensed.
Pfizer, of course, does the usual face-saving tap-dance when they're caught breaking the law:
"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," Ian Read, Pfizer's president of worldwide pharmaceutical operations, said in a statement."It's just a mistake, we had no intent, whatsoever, to give you the impression that Jarvik was a real Doctor giving you real medical advice..." Even though it was absolutely clear from the commercial that it was the intent.
UPDATE: Making it even funnier - "According to the committee investigating Jarvik, he used a body double, to make himself look more athletic and healthy than he actually is."