Paula Deen & company: 10 celebs who help sell drugs


    Paula Deen

    paula deen, diabetes, victoza, novo nordisk

    (CBS) Since Paula Deen announced she has Type 2 diabetes, she's been a lightning rod for criticism from fellow celebrity chefs, medical experts, and her fans.

    "It would be like someone who goes on TV and brags about how wonderful it is to smoke two packs of cigarettes a day and then when he or she gets lung cancer becomes a paid spokesperson for nicotine patches," Judd Dvorak, an avid viewer of Deen's shows from Yuba, Wis. said.

    The "Queen of Southern cuisine's" admission also puts the spotlight on ethical questions that surround celebrities who are paid spokespeople for pharmaceutical companies. Deen's admission coincided with the launch of a new partnership with drugmaker Novo Nordisk to promote its Type 2 diabetes drug, Victoza.

    Dr. Arthur Caplan, professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, told HealthPop that celebrity endorsements can raise several ethical questions. Are the celebrities even taking the drugs they're selling? What happens if the drug is found to have side effects? What happens in the case of a recall?

    Caplan also said an issue is the drug might not be the best option to help people. When celebrities endorse a medication, they're usually not telling you about the alternative options which are sometimes cheaper and just as effective, he said.

    Caplan wondered about celebrities, "Why would we put trust in what they have to say about drugs, devices, or vaccines?" To him, most people who see these commercials aren't going to take it with a grain of salt and call their doctors for more advice.

    "I think it drives behavior," Caplan said. "A lot of people clearly get their medical advice from commercials since that's what companies are spending their money on."

    But Paula Deen isn't the only celeb to sign an endorsement deal with a pharmaceutical company. Keep clicking to see 9 more notable celebrity partnerships with drug companies...