Celebrity selling—part twoBMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7358.286 (Published 03 August 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:286
- Ray Moynihan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Washington DC based writer for the Australian Financial Review
United States professional football sensation Ricky Williams last week sparked a blaze of publicity when he revealed that he had social anxiety disorder and was benefiting from both therapy and Paxil (Seroxat/paroxetine), the drug that earned GlaxoSmithKline global sales last year of US$2.7bn (£1.7bn; €2.7bn).
Items appeared on the front page of the New York Times sports section, in the prestigious Los Angeles Times, and a host of other papers, as well as broadcast media including NBC. Stories described a serious psychiatric condition affecting between 5 and 10 million Americans. Some reports revealed that GlaxoSmithKline was paying the sports celebrity, some didn't.
Williams joins a stellar cast of characters now using the mass media to promote awareness of a whole suite of medical conditions and diseases. In May Camilla Parker Bowles spoke out about osteoporosis at an international meeting in Portugal (BMJ 2002;324:1342). While Mrs Parker Bowles received …