Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Shire & Seles Team up in B.E.D. to Promote Vyvanse. Celebrity Endorsement at Its Worst!

OMG! Is there nothing old athletes won't do for money?

Remember Monica Seles who was famously stabbed on the tennis court in 1993? No? OK, whatever. She's celebrity enough to hawk for Shire, which recently won PRIORITY approval from the FDA for a new indication for Vyvanse, it's ADHD drug:

Binge Eating Disorder or B.E.D.

According to Seles & Shire, which is hosting the website BingeEatingDisorder.com ("A Resource for Understanding B.E.D. in Adults"):

"Binge Eating Disorder (B.E.D.) is not just overeating. It is a real medical condition [my emphasis] that was formally recognized in 2013. B.E.D. is the most common eating disorder among US adults."

How many times have you heard the phrase "It is a real medical condition" before? Aside from Seles & Shire, who says B.E.D. is a real medical condition? Who "formally recognized" it in 2013 (just in time for Shire to ask for FDA approval)?

Shire doesn't say.

Although Shire's website has lots of statistics about B.E.D., it does not provide the sources for these statistics. For example, Shire says B.E.D. affects 2.8 million people in the U.S. based on a national survey. But Shire does not say who did the survey or link to the source so we can see if it was based on real science or just marketing hocus-pocus.

Here's some more undocumented B.E.D. statistics mentioned on the site:
  • B.E.D. affects both women and men. Based on percentage, two times as many women are affected as men in the US.
  • B.E.D. occurs at a similar rate across non-Latino white (1.4%), Latino (2.1%), Asian (1.2%), and African American (1.5%) adults in the US.
Meanwhile, Seles appears on TV talk shows and People Magazine (here) "opening up" about her binge eating, which she claims goes back to 1993. Why open up now? 

"It took a while until I felt comfortable talking about it," she tells PEOPLE. "That's one of the reasons I decided to do this campaign: to raise awareness that binge eating is a real medical condition."

I suppose she got more comfortable after signing a celebrity endorsement contract with Shire. Of course, she does not mention that because the funding is probably channeled through the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders and the Binge Eating Disorder Association, two non-profit corporations that likely are also in B.E.D. with Shire.

Meanwhile, here's Seles' sponsored pitch:

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:25 PM

    The source of the statistics you mention in your post are listed on the website.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean where it says: "*Based on 12-month prevalence estimates applied to the full US population ≥ 18 years.
      †Based on estimated 12-month prevalence data in the US."? That's not adequate - there's no link to the source or any information about how I might access and assess the source. Unless I'm missing something.

      Delete

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