Lady Gaga has drawn a mixed response online after teaming up with the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to promote a migraine drug.
The singer, 37, posted an Instagram photo of herself performing live with the branding for the drug, Nurtec, overlaid on the image.
The post included two slides with safety information about the drug which is the top prescribed migraine medicine in its class in the U.S., according to Nick Lagunowich, the global president of Pfizer Emerging Markets.
Lady Gaga wrote that the post was a paid advertisement for the drug and shared in the caption that she wished she’d “found [the drug] sooner.”
“Ever since childhood, I’ve dealt with migraine pain. When I tried Nurtec® ODT (rimegepant) 75 mg for the first time, I’ll never forget wishing I had found it sooner,” the ad said. “That’s why I’m proud to partner with Nurtec ODT. 💜 We’re in this together … INTENDED FOR US AUDIENCES ONLY,” the caption read.
Lady Gaga fans said the concert photo in the Instagram post was from her world tour in 2022 titled The Chromatica Ball.
The star also narrated a TV ad for Nurtec which showed videos of her performing live and described Lady Gaga as an “actual patient.”
“I know what’s like to perform through pain. If you’re like me, one of the millions suffering from pain caused by migraine, Nurtec ODT might help. It’s the only medication that can treat a migraine when it strikes and prevent migraine attacks,” she says.
“Treat and prevent all in one… we’re in this together. Talk to a doctor about Nurtec ODT.”
A number of people took to the comments section of the Instagram post to slam Lady Gaga for teaming up with a Big Pharma brand.
“Wtf is wrong with this account ? Where is Gaga ? Who’s doing this ? How come our Mother Monster would do a sponsor for… medicine ? This is unsane [sic],” commented one user on the Instagram post.
Another wrote: “Healthcare is a human right, not a commodity to exploit for the sake greed and wealth. I know you are compassionate, intelligent, and thoughtful. I hope you will show that through the ways you use your platform and privilege moving forward. This ain’t it. [sic]”
Others rushed to the singer’s defense and pointed out she has been vocal about her chronic illnesses, including the severe pain she endures.
Newsweek contacted Lady Gaga’s representatives via email for comment.
“Little monsters [the name for Gaga’s fandom] when they realize that Gaga, who wrote a whole album about being in pain, who has been telling us for over a decade about her chronic pain illness, and who has had to cancel entire tours due to her relentless pain, may actually be in pain,” tweeted one fan.
A second user wrote on Twitter: “Crazy how hypocritical this fandom is after recognizing the chronic pains Gaga suffers from the narrative of Chromatica and crucifying her for a migraine pill in the absence of their concert film. 😭”
Gaga has previously spoken about living with chronic pain due to having fibromyalgia, a pain disorder caused by how pain signals are processed in the central nervous system.
She has also opened up about the pain she experienced after breaking her hip during her 2013 “Born This Way” tour, which forced her to cancel the remaining dates. She also cancelled 10 dates on her “Joanne” tour in 2018.
“It’s like the whole right side of my body is in a spasm,” she said in her documentary, Five Foot Two. “It feels like there’s a rope that’s pulling from my first toe, right up my leg and then around my first rib and to my shoulder and then my neck, head, jaw. My f***** face hurts.”