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Physician promote thyself – and thy products

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The New York Times reports:

“…the Food and Drug Administration has cracked down on one of the most widely quoted cosmetic doctors, sending shudders through the ranks of opinion leaders in fashion publishing and vanity medicine.

The F.D.A. recently sent a warning letter to Dr. Leslie Baumann, a well-known dermatologist and clinical researcher in Miami Beach, citing the doctor for expressing premature enthusiasm in the media about Dysport, an injectable antiwrinkle drug the agency had not yet approved.

Dr. Baumann’s comments in the media in 2007 violated restrictions on drug promotion, according to the letter; the agency asked Dr. Baumann to explain how she intended to prevent similar violations in the future.

… this is believed to be the first time the agency has warned an individual investigator — a medical researcher who oversees a clinical trial — for apparently promoting an unapproved drug.

…(The magazine) Allure has been particularly reliant on Dr. Baumann’s expertise. The monthly magazine quoted her in 10 articles last year and mentioned her in another, according to a Nexis search.”

While we’re on the topic of celebrity MDs, many journalists received a news release last week under the heading, “Celebrity MDs Learn From Hollywood & Washington.” Excerpt:

“Celebrity doctors like Dr. Oz or Sanjay Gupta aren’t born polished and mediagenic; they build visible and compelling personal brands. Would your audience enjoy learning how it’s done and how they can attract high-value patients with some powerful branding of their own?

A new book (title deleted – I’m not going to shill for it) reports that physicians who achieve most-notable status are as adept at publicity and personal branding as any Hollywood hero or rock star politician.

If your audience would like a behind-the-scenes look at the celebrity publicity, branding, and promotion strategies high-visibility doctors use to land book deals, CNN expert spots, and earn a tenfold multiple of the norm, let’s set up an interview.”

I don’t think so.

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