Kim Kardashian was paid to post a selfie on Instagram and Twitter advertising a pharmaceutical product. Sent to 42 million followers on Instagram and 32 million on Twitter, this illegal advertisement did not contain any risk information or language specifying that it was a paid endorsement.

An Age-Old Battle: The FDA Versus the Shill

Last month, celebrity-news and health-policy bloggers had a rare moment of overlap after the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to the pharmaceutical company Duchesnay, which manufactures Diclegis, a prescription-only anti-nausea pill. At stake: a single selfie with pill bottle.

The image that attracted the censure of the FDA was an Instagram posted on July 20 by Kim Kardashian. The image featured her upper torso, right hand, and face, with a bottle of Diclegis prominently displayed in her grasp. “OMG,” the caption began:

Have you heard about this? As you guys know my #morningsickness has been pretty bad. I tried changing things about my lifestyle and my diet, but nothing helped, so I talked to my doctor. He prescr… Continue Reading