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Archive for January, 2008

Drivers Alert! – Random breath tests planned!

Monday, January 21st, 2008

Judy Viitanen and PRimage were interested to read in today’s Telegraph that motorists face the prospect of random breath-testing as part of the biggest shake-up of drink-drive laws since the introduction of the breathalyser 40 years ago. What’s your view on this?

Health and Wellbeing – PRimage hope this new Cabinet Committee is effective!

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

PRimage have heard that the PM, Gordon Brown, has just announced that he is creating a new Cabinet Committee on health and wellbeing, with its terms of reference being:”To consider policy on health and wellbeing, including the prevention of ill-health, the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles and the reduction of health inequalities; and report as necessary to the Ministerial Committee on Domestic Affairs.”

Judy Viitanen and the team at PRimage hope it’s not going to prove to be another Government forum for ‘fine words but few actions’ – and that it will produce some positive outcomes and initiatives to tackle health inequalities and deal with the huge public health problems resulting from unhealthy lifestyles and obesity!

Dental Dilemmas – PRimage comment

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Last week PRimage commented on a survey which revealed that dental treatment in England is the most expensive in Europe. Now a new opinion poll shows that one in six people are failing to get access to an NHS dentist!

Judy Viitanen believes that it’s significant that this survey by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau directly challenges the claims by the DoH and Ministers that more people than ever were seeing an NHS dentist. Yes, you can access private dentistry, if you have the money; but this creates an invidious two-tier system and the net result is that many people who need treatment and vital check-ups are missing out.

This dental shortage is a disgrace – and once again we say that the DoH and the Government needs to tackle dental services as a matter of urgency. Do you agree? As a specialist healthcare PR and Public Affairs Agency, with client contacts in Dentristy, Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team will continue to comment and lobby on this important public health issue.

Environmental useful new word – Carboniferous!

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

The PRimage team were recently discussing environmental topics and the fact that the ‘big issue’, loved and much quoted by the media, which is impacting on just about everything seems to focus around consumers and companies carbon footprints. As a result, PRimage Marketing Director, Peter Viitanen, has come up with an interesting and new word: Carboniferous (adj.) Pertaining to a device or policy consuming fossil fuels. “I am exchanging my carboniferous Land Rover for a Honda Prius.” (n.) carbonivore

Organ Donation Taskforce Report

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

PRimage will await with interest to find out more about the Organ Donation Taskforce report ‘Organs for Transplants; A report from the Organ Donation Taskforce’ looking at the current organ donation system, which is being launched today by Health Secretary, Alan Johnson. Judy Viitanen is aware that the Tories have already asked Gordon Brown to explain his “apparent U-turn” regarding the organ donation consent.

PRimage agree with criticism on capital gains tax

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Worrying news for entrepreneurs today, as the head of the CBI has warned that many are considering selling firms because of uncertainty over capital gains tax. PRimage hope the Chancellor takes note of this criticism on tax reforms!

House price warning

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

More red flags have been raised about the state of the UK property market – as new research suggests it is facing its worst conditions for 15 years. This is bound to be of concern to houseowners – and also to investors, like our MD Judy Viitanen, who have property in their portfolio.

According to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), the balance of its members reporting house price falls is at its highest since November 1992. That month the balance stood at 60.1 per cent, with December 2007′s survey revealing a balance of 49.1 per cent. Rics said the 7.5 point change in the balance was attributable to the ongoing credit crunch and dwindling confidence. PRimage view is that the housing market is now feeling the combined negative impact of the credit squeeze and recent interest rate increases.

Do you take Calcium pills? – Read this

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Calcium supplements may increase the risk of heart attack in healthy postmenopausal women, a new study suggests. Postmenopausal women are sometimes advised to take these supplements to maintain bone health and some studies suggest they might protect against vascular disease by lowering levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. But a new study from Australian researchers found that heart attacks were more commonly reported in a group of women taking calcium supplements. The occurrence of any three vascular events (heart attack, stroke or sudden death) was also more common in this group.

Good news on treating breast cancer

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

PRimage was pleased to learn that a new drug is to be trialled in treating breast cancer as part of the first UK-based clinical trial for women with an aggressive form of the cancer. The trial is being jointly launched by Cancer Research UK and Breakthrough Breast Cancer and aims to improve breast cancer treatment for women with hormone and HER2 negative cancer which has spread elsewhere in the body. These types of breast cancer are referred to as ‘triple negative’ because they lack hormone (oestrogen and progesterone) and HER2 receptors. They account for 15 to 20 per cent of all breast cancers in the UK and are more common amongst younger women and those of African ethnicity. Hormone and HER2 negative tumours do not respond to targeted treatments like Herceptin or hormone therapies such as tamoxifen and can be hard to treat because of this.

The PRimage team are strong supporters of the various campaigns run by Breakthrough Breast Cancer – and Judy Viitanen has a special interest, as her elderly mum has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.

NPA loses CEO

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Judy Viitanen, formerly Head of PR and Public Affairs at the National Pharmacy Association, has learnt that Alison White has stepped down as CEO of the Association. Ms White took over from former CEO, John D’Arcy, last Summer. PRimage believe it will now be interesting to see who they appoint to head-up the 87-year-old pharmacy trade body … Watch this space … !