Star singer Lady Gaga has reportedly been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a condition familiar to anybody who watches commercial television — where dramatic ads for the Pfizer-owned drug Lyrica frequently appear. Lyrica became the first FDA-approved drug to treat Fibromyalgia in 2004, and ads for Lyrica have been ubiquitous for nearly a decade.
— xoxo, Gaga (@ladygaga) September 12, 2017
Lady Gaga said in her announcement that she hopes to “help raise awareness & connect people who have [fibromyalgia].” The condition is poorly understood and often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Its chief symptom is chronic pain. Gaga would be a powerful advocate for the Lyrica drug, if she wished to travel that route. Much of Pfizer’s marketing has been spent convincing the public that the condition is geniune — indeed, an early ad felt the need to state plainly: “Fibromyalgia is real.” Celebrities of Lady Gaga’s magnitude don’t often align with drug marketing, with the risk that they’ll be too closely associated with the disease or condition, damaging their brand. But Gaga has declared her intent to associate herself with Fibromyalgia already, so she may find a Pfizer invitation waiting. Celeb drug marketing does happen: Golfer Phil Mickelson turned his Psoriatic Arthritis diagnosis into profits, doing ads for the drug Enbrel. Financial terms of Michelson’s Enbrel deal were not disclosed.