(Binge) Drink Anyone? – PR Week Post #18

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As usual, the summer holiday season has brought to our screens an spectacular array of colourful news features highlighting the binge-drinking behaviour of young Britons (especially those abroad). Commentators from a variety of healthcare professional and consumer/social affairs organisations routinely appeal to those exposed to: “Grow up and stop drinking less”.

Having read today’s Mintel report, I am not sure this any longer applies.

The research shows, contrary to common belief, that the draw of binge-drinking among younger people is actually going down and is becoming less socially acceptable among this group.  One statistic in particular surprised me: ’55 per cent of middle-aged drinkers consume alcohol more than twice a week, compared with 42 per cent of teenagers and young adults.’

How, if at all, will the commentators change their tune?

Come on, tell me the truth – PR Week Post #17

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Having written about A&E waiting times earlier this year, it seems as though things haven’t improved on the non-A&E services front either.

Despite Andy Burnham saying that there were no longer any waiting lists in the NHS on Wednesday’s BBC Radio Five Live’s Victoria Derbyshire show, new figures highlighted in the Telegraph today (coming from the Lib Dems I must add) suggest there are more than 230,000 people waiting more than 18 months for services such as oral surgery, geriatric medicine and rheumatology.  Norman Lamb, the Lib Dem shadow health secretary said Mr Burnham’s comments were “offensive”.

When are the government going to better media train their spokespeople or stop letting them go on the radio full stop?

That said, the shadow government are not doing that well this week either as Mr Duncan illustrated

Relaxing the promotional shackles – PR Week Post #16

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An article in Pulse online today (http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=23&storycode=4123410&c=1) talks about the potential “loosening of restrictions on drug companies” which may facilitate them to deliver more information “directly to patients through online and print publications.”  This ongoing debate is sure to continue ad nauseam without ever reaching a satisfactory conclusion.

Is the industry’s “conflict of interest” that acute?  Are there circumstances where patients might actually benefit?

Raise your hand if you have never visited a US pharmaceutical product website and clicked on the box entitled ‘I am a US resident’ to gain access to the information. Surely we are not talking about unregulated communication over the internet so why all the hysteria?