Tapping celebrities for brand or awareness campaigns ensures a high degree of attention, but such arrangements come with concerns that "regular" ones do not.
Heaven knows the industry is itself to blame for some of the dopier recurring imagery in its DTC spots, like models clad in white linen riding horses on deserted stretches of beach.
Our year-end list captures the 10 that sparked heaviest interest.
Famous from his reality show, "The Osbournes," Jack narrates his life with MS in a web documentary series.
Eisai lobbies to push back Belviq's patent clock; a case against Paula Deen is dismissed; Merck and Avanir team up to promote Januvia; and another healthcare-reform measure is pushed back
The actor and patient heads up a roundtable posted on the advocacy site CreakyJoints.
A new campaign from J&J's DePuy Orthopedics, aimed at raising awareness of joint replacement, features Baby Boomers' letters to their younger selves.
OraSure, the maker of the recently-approved home HIV test, has hired an experienced consumer marketer from Pfizer to head up the launch as it readies a TV ad campaign.
Sanofi has recruited actress Elizabeth Perkins, who has type 1 diabetes, to serve as the face of its Diabetes Co-Stars awareness campaign.
ESPN anchor and former Eagles player Mike Golic will anchor Merck's type 2 diabetes disease awareness campaign Blood Sugar Basics Game Plan.
A series of emails published by the New York Times Monday is bringing renewed attention to the Cox-2 inhibitor category.
Novo Nordisk expanded its motorsports initiative, while online firm Health Union launched a mobile app designed to help patients monitor migraines.
Novo Nordisk is courting controversy with a Victoza-branded type 2 diabetes education campaign featuring Southern-fried celebrity chef Paula Deen and her sons.
Don't tell the New York Post, but Pfizer is boosting bike lanes as part of an Advil promotion.
Janssen Biotech wrapped up its IBD Icons campaign on Sunday with an American Idol star crowning the winners of the user-generated content contest at a benefit for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA).
Krystexxa maker Savient has recruited Jim Belushi for an awareness-raising campaign dubbed "Check Out Your Gout."
Desperate Housewives star Dana Delany will serve as the face of Pfizer's "Women Move the World" campaign for OTC supplement Caltrate. In a twist on the user-generated content formula, she'll invite women to submit their girl power-themed stories to the brand's Facebook page for consideration as advertising fodder
Kim Kardashian revealed she has psoriasis on Sunday, when her diagnosis with the disease featured in an episode of her show, "Keeping Up With The Kardashians."
Merck is launching a chronic hepatitis C awareness campaign featuring rocker and hepatitis C sufferer Gregg Allman, whose Allman Brothers Band will headline a benefit concert on World Hepatitis Day on July 27, in New York.
Merck is launching Build Smart, Breathe Easier, an asthma awareness campaign starring celebrity carpenter Carter Oosterhouse, who will build four homes with asthma-healthy features.
Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan will lead a Novartis-sponsored team of women pro cyclists on a 10-city bike tour to raise awareness of MS.
Celebrities signing on as spokespeople for branded pharmaceuticals is nothing new, but now a generic drug supplier is getting in the game, with actor Eric Roberts serving as a kind of corporate celebrity ambassador.
Sally Field's winsome smile may have helped to curb declining sales of Roche's Boniva in 2010, but it didn't carry the drug past Warner Chilcott's Actonel, despite a substantially higher DTC spend.
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi-Aventis, tapped Denver Nuggets all-star Chauncey Billups as its 2011 spokesperson for Vaccines for Teens, an ongoing educational and awareness campaign. Other players will join the effort in local markets this year, in concert with the NBA, WNBA and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM).
Boehringer Ingelheim is partnering with the Country Music Association for a Tune Up For COPD Songwriting Competition featuring country music stars Billy Ray Cyrus and Patty Loveless.
A print ad for Genentech's Boniva overstated the osteoporosis drug's efficacy, said the FDA's Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising and Communication in an untitled letter.
GlaxoSmithKline tapped soccer phenom Mia Hamm for a new vaccine awareness campaign promoting vaccines as an integral part of adult health. Hamm fronted a MedImmune/AstraZeneca flu vaccine awareness campaign last summer.
Amgen and Pfizer teamed up with fashion guru Tim Gunn for five videos offering style tips -- or 'psophisticated styles' -- for psoriasis patients. The videos resemble reality television shows and feature style consultations with the five winners of the Addressing Psoriasis contest launched last year.
Sanofi Aventis launched a Lantus-branded "diabetes awareness campaign" featuring Paul and Mira Sorvino.
Golf legend and prostate cancer survivor Arnold Palmer is the celebrity face of a new educational website and program developed by Centocor Ortho Biotech and Us TOO, a nonprofit prostate cancer support organization.