Monday, February 21, 2011

Phil Mickelson "Opens Up" to Arthritis Today Magazine

Top pro golfer Phil Mickelson is featured on the cover of the Mar-April 2011 issue of Arthritis Today magazine (see photo).

Recall that Mickelson announced he had psoriatic arthritis last August in a news story titled "PGA Championship 2010, Whistling Straits: Phil Mickelson Has Psoriatic Arthritis - Uses Enbrel To Help Manage Condition."

In that story, Mickelson was quoted as saying "I have no aches and pains. My back feels great. I feel stronger and more flexible than I've ever been." (see "Is Phil Mickelson Shilling for Enbrel?").

When he made that statement, Phil was obviously demonstrating to AMGEN/PFIZER -- the companies that market ENBREL -- what he can do to help them promote their product. AMGEN/PFIZER were suitably impressed and signed him up a few months later (or so they say).

Now that Phil is a paid ENBREL spokesperson, his remarks are more balanced. Here are some quotes from an article in the Arthritis Today issue that features him on the cover:

"Phil tried taking prednisone [a generic drug], but the side effects were awful, he says." [His Mayo Clinic doctors prescribed "weekly injections of a biologic drug"; later in the article several brand name drugs, including Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, and Simponi, are mentioned, but the article doesn't reveal exactly which drug Phil is taking -- that's already on the record elsewhere. But we now know that he didn't like the generic medicine.]

"I like where I am physically and am optimistic about 2011."

"I might take the medicine for a year and then go off it. Then, when and if it flares up, I'd go back on the medicine. I'm OK with taking medicine the rest of my life if I have to."

At the end of this article is this NOTE: "This interview took place after Phil Mickelson entered into a partnership with Amgen-Pfizer, an Arthritis Foundation sponsor, in November, 2010."

So, Amgen-Pfizer not only has to pay Phil, they also have to pay the Arthritis Foundation to get his story published! No wonder AMGEN has blown its marketing budget (see here).


  1. Anonymous2:07 PM

    Biologics as first line agents, here we go:

    “By getting an early diagnosis, I was able to start my treatment right away with the goal of helping to slow or stop the progression of irreversible damage to my joints. My experience has inspired me to motivate and empower others with chronic inflammatory joint and skin conditions to take action.”

  2. Thanks to Biologic s , I have had my life returned to me. Not only am I better than before I am able to help others who have severe arthritis as well live a new normal life. Thank you to all the scientists who developed Enbrel. I enjoyed this interview. I was also featured in this issue of arthritis Today magazine and really enjoyed learning Phil 's struggles and success. He is a great role model. Thanks Enbrel !

  3. Anonymous2:19 PM

    While a consultant at Pfizer/Wyeth in PA, I sent a proposal citing this blog's then story on Phil and his statements as a "call to action" for social media strategies. Obviously, the strategy part was ignored but looks like the marketing heads took notice of something from that report.


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