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9 Celebrities Who Now Hawk Drugs
Posted by Staff Writers on Feb 7, 2012
Every day, celebrities come into your house and pressure you to take drugs. No, not the fun, illegal drugs you might be hoping for. Just regular prescription medication that they probably aren't qualified to recommend. Ever since the FDA said it was OK to market prescription drugs to the public in 1997, there have been countless celebs who have signed on to talk on TV about ailments they may or may not have. Whether they're in it for the money or to raise awareness for the condition, these rich and famous found more riches and fame in the world of pharmaceuticals.
The Southern chef who loves butter was diagnosed with diabetes three years ago, but just made the information public at the beginning of the year when she signed a deal with Novo Nordisk to promote the Type 2 Diabetes drug Victoza. Deen may have expected an outpouring of support from the public for her disease, but she didn't find it. Most people were disgusted that she could push extremely fatty foods on the public for years and then profit from a drug for the diabetics she'd helped create. No Reservations star Anthony Bourdain even found it repulsive, tweeting, "Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later."
Field, who looks remarkably young for being 65, is best known for her roles on TV, like in The Flying Nun and Brothers and Sisters, and in movies like Forrest Gump and Steel Magnolias. But she's most recently stepped out as the spokesperson for Boniva, a drug for osteoporosis. The big selling point in Field's ads for the drug is that you take it less often than other osteoporosis meds on the market, but some critics question the morality of pushing a drug that's much more expensive than other equally effective medication.
It seems that after former Senator Dole lost the 1996 presidential election to Bill Clinton he didn't have any qualms about revealing his private life. In 1998, Dole was hired by Pfizer to promote Viagra, the now-famous drug for erectile dysfunction, through speaking engagements and ads discussing men's health in general and impotence specifically. The TV ads were actually the first associated with Viagra, and Dole was a perfect candidate for the role as spokesman since he admitted to suffering from ED after his fight with prostate cancer. His ads may have ended, but his effect on Viagra sales doesn't seem to be done yet.
The actress who recently won a Golden Globe for her dramatic role in the series Homeland has also lent her acting chops to commercials for the eyelash-growing treatment Latisse from Allergan. The drug has also used Mad Men star Christina Hendricks and Brooke Shields to show off the beauty effects. Latisse is said to grow lashes twice as fast as they naturally grow, but the side effects are pretty serious, including darkening of the iris or eyelid, itchiness, and the possibility that glaucoma cases would be missed.
Slightly annoying comedian Lovitz doesn't seem like the kind of person you'd be taking medical advice from, but drug-maker Centocor seemed to think he'd be perfect to push Remicade, a drug for psoriasis. The Saturday Night Live alum has suffered from the skin condition for years and started a campaign with the drug company called "Are You Serious?" That's what we were asking ourselves when we first saw Lovitz recommending pharmaceuticals. Apparently, the campaign is actually asking if you're serious about treating your psoriasis effectively. Could've fooled us.
It's not surprising that working on Desperate Housewives would cause a lot of headaches, but actress Cross was able to profit from hers. As a migraine sufferer and a public figure, Cross was a great choice for pharma company GlaxoSmithKlein to hire to promote their migraine medication, Imitrex. Cross encourages other migraine-plagued people to take action, keeping a journal to discover their personal triggers — hers include red wine, chocolate, and cheddar cheese — and, of course, talking to their doctors about Imitrex.
According to Larry the Cable Guy, who only barely qualifies as a celebrity, when it comes to heartburn, Prilosec OTC will "Git-R-Done." Proctor & Gamble, the drug's maker, brought Larry on to appear in TV and print ads, as well as attend NFL tailgates to show revelers how to party in a more healthy way, which no doubt includes taking Prilosec. Should we really be trusting our acid reflux to a guy who never wears sleeves, even when wearing a doctor's coat he didn't earn? Even football fans who've been knocked on the head too many times in pick-up games probably know the answer to that question.
Golf fans will recognize the name Phil Mickelson, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame who has won four majors. Non-golf fans will at least recognize that having arthritis could be a big hindrance in the sport. Mickelson has a television ad out right now discussing the pain he experienced from his psoriatic arthritis, a condition where your immune system attacks all the joints in your body. He says he was prescribed Enbrel, a drug made by Pfizer, which made him feel about 90% better and he's now promoting it.
They aren't hawking these drugs now, but Jenner and Hamill, both Olympic champions (though one is now more well known for being the Kardashian stepfather), signed on with Merck to push Vioxx about a decade ago. Vioxx was created for arthritis pain relief, so athletes were a natural choice to appear in ads. Unfortunately for the two representatives, Vioxx apparently increased the risk of heart attack and stroke in long-term users and Merck eventually recalled it, though much later than many think they should've. Some people blamed Jenner and Hamill for promoting such a dangerous medication, but at least one of them seems to have kept his or her dignity after the debacle. We'll let you decide which one.