Top pro golfer Phil Mickelson is featured on the cover of the Mar-April 2011 issue of Arthritis Today magazine (see photo).

Recall that Mickelson announced he had psoriatic arthritis last August in a news story titled “PGA Championship 2010, Whistling Straits: Phil Mickelson Has Psoriatic Arthritis – Uses Enbrel To Help Manage Condition.”

In that story, Mickelson was quoted as saying “I have no aches and pains. My back feels great. I feel stronger and more flexible than I’ve ever been.” (see “Is Phil Mickelson Shilling for Enbrel?“).

When he made that statement, Phil was obviously demonstrating to AMGEN/PFIZER — the companies that market ENBREL — what he can do to help them promote their product. AMGEN/PFIZER were suitably impressed and signed him up a few months later (or so they say).

Now that Phil is a paid ENBREL spokesperson, his remarks are more balanced. Here are some quotes from an article in the Arthritis Today issue that features him on the cover:

“Phil tried taking prednisone [a generic drug], but the side effects were awful, he says.” [His Mayo Clinic doctors prescribed “weekly injections of a biologic drug”; later in the article several brand name drugs, including Humira, Enbrel, Remicade, and Simponi, are mentioned, but the article doesn’t reveal exactly which drug Phil is taking — that’s already on the record elsewhere. But we now know that he didn’t like the generic medicine.]

“I like where I am physically and am optimistic about 2011.”

“I might take the medicine for a year and then go off it. Then, when and if it flares up, I’d go back on the medicine. I’m OK with taking medicine the rest of my life if I have to.”

At the end of this article is this NOTE: “This interview took place after Phil Mickelson entered into a partnership with Amgen-Pfizer, an Arthritis Foundation sponsor, in November, 2010.”

So, Amgen-Pfizer not only has to pay Phil, they also have to pay the Arthritis Foundation to get his story published! No wonder AMGEN has blown its marketing budget (see here).