The comedian Kevin Nealon is pushing a blood thinner called Xarelto, aka Rivaroxaban, which is made by Bayer, FDA-approved and distributed by Janssen. Xarelto can cause a type of internal bleeding for which there is no known antidote. It can and does kill people. The other adverse effects are not easy to find on the Xarelto site. You have to go deep into the product information to find info like Xarelto caused back pain in 22% of users (vs. 7% of placebo users) in the biggest clinical trial.
Nealon is featured in the Xarelto campaign alongside golf great Arnold Palmer and NASCAR driver Brian Vickers. Millions of viewers recall him on the Showtime hit “Weeds,” playing Doug, the likable accountant who advises Nancy (Mary Lousie Parker, a housewife who becomes a dealer) to set up a legitimate small business as a front.
In an early episode Nancy shows up at Doug’s office to make a delivery and he tells her he doesn’t need anything. He takes out his wallet and shows her the reason why.
DOUG: It’s my medical marijuana card. I got a note from a clinic doc for a hundred bucks. Went down to the pot store and mama, I was home! It’s a weed wonderland, Nancy. It’s like Amsterdam, only better, because you don’t have to visit the Anne Frank house and pretend to be sad and stuff. See this lollipop?
NANCY: It isn’t…
DOUG: (Medium shot of Doug sucking) Yes! I’m getting high right now. You can’t even tell.
NANCY: How is it possible?
DOUG; The genius of Prop 215: medical marijuana for sick people. And seriously, who couldn’t use a little medication, right? My friend’s friend’s friend gave me the address of the clinic, I went down there, and loaded up. [From his desk he takes a baggie full of big colas.] I love California! I can’t wait to tell the poker game about it. The one buzz kill is you can only buy eight ounces a visit.
NANCY: That’s half a pound!
DOUG: Well, they allow you to make two visits a day, but you know with all the traffic on the 110 it’s practically impossible.
Hats off to the ad agency that booked Kevin Nealon for the Xarelto gig. A celeb known to be far ahead of the curve on cannabis will have strong credibility when it comes to anticoagulants.