Celebs Who Promote Meds

By Shoshana Davis 01/23/12

TV chef Paula Deen's endorsement of diabetes med Victoza is the latest in a long line of celeb pharma plugs.

Paula Deen is the new face of
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The famous and infamous recommend fast food (Michael Phelps in Subway ads), get paid to tweet about vehicle hire (Tori Spelling used 140 characters to rave about a car rental website) and plug liquor (most rappers you ever heard of). Now TV chef Paula Deen’s announcement to Today Show weatherman Al Roker last week that she's both diabetic and set to be the spokeswoman for Novo Nordis’ non-insulin injectable medication, Victoza, puts the focus on pharma endorsements. There have been plenty: Desperate Housewives actress Marcia Cross not only uses her fame to back the GalxoSmithKine drug Imitrex, but actively uses her personal experiences to describe the effects of the drug and the allaged improvement to her lifestyle. For seasonal allergies, "You like me" actress Sally Field put her noggin on Boniva. One particularly notable pharma campaign, was Bob Dole’s 1999 promotion of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. And Olympic ice skater Dorothy Hamill and track star Bruce Jenner were both lined up to endorse arthritis and pain relief product Vioxx, prior to Merck’s 2004 withdrawal of the drug.

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Shoshana Davis is a freelance writer living in the New York City area. You can find her on Linkedin.