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Archive for August, 2008

PRimage applaud new laws to tackle careless driving

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

How many times do you see stupid, selfish drivers using their mobiles behind the wheel? … And how often this impacts on their driving ability, putting themselves (and others) at risk from a fatal accident? PRimage welcome the news that new laws will come into force this week which mean that motorists who kill while using a mobile phone will face prison.

PRimage concern that patients ‘lack money for prescription drugs’

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team were appalled and concerned to read the news of a new poll which reveals that nearly half of cancer patients in England are cutting back on basic essentials like food to pay for prescriptions. Macmillan Cancer Support’s online survey of 477 cancer patients found 44% were struggling to cope with drug costs. This situation is totally wrong! PRimage agree with the charity’s call for prescription charges to be abolished in England.

This is an issue that Judy Viitanen has spent a number of years lobbying for – and it is becoming increasingly important. Prescription charges were scrapped in Wales in 2007 and will be phased out in Scotland by 2011. Northern Ireland has frozen its charges while it considers whether to abolish prescription charges following a recent review. In England, the government has ruled out any move towards free prescriptions. Ministers are planning to launch a consultation in the near future, but this will only be looking at “cost-neutral” ways of tweaking the system, including who should be exempt from charges. The Macmillan poll found 44% of patients had cut back on essential items like food or heating to pay for the cost of their prescriptions. At the moment, people over 60, children and those on low incomes do not have to pay the £7.10 per item price tag. In all, 88% of prescription items are dispensed in the community free of charge. Macmillan says cancer patients can spend hundreds of pounds each year paying for prescriptions.

Older people with depression denied help – PRimage comment

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

As a specialist healthcare communications consultancy, PRimage is pleased to support a new national campaign by Age Concern to improve support for the more than 2 million people over 65 who have symptoms of depression. We think it is disgraceful that 8 out of 10 older people with clinical depression do not get any treatment! What’s your view?

“The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master”

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

In memory of Toby …

When God had made the Earth and sky, the flowers and the trees,

He then made all the animals and all the birds and bees.

And when his work was finished, not one was quite the same.

He said, ‘I’ll walk this earth of mine, and give each one a name,’

And so he travelled land and sea, and everywhere he went,

A little creature followed him until his strength was spent.

And when all were named upon the Earth, and in the sky and sea,

The little creature said: ‘Dear Lord, There’s not one left for me!’

The Father smiled and softly said: ‘I’ve left you till the end.

I’ve turned my own name back to front, and called you DOG, my friend”.

Economic gloom continues – PRimage comment

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Like many businesses, PRimage is increasingly concerned about the state of the economy and its impact on trade and industry and consumer living costs. Our view is that high inflation and slowing growth surely indicate a possible recession. Clearly, economic activity is slowing in all key sectors of the UK economy, business confidence is demonstrably waning and falling house prices and tight credit conditions have dented consumer spending. Last week the International Monetary Fund again revised down its forecast for UK economic growth this year and next year. It now expects growth of 1.4% this year and 1.1% in 2009, although the government still expects the figures for both years to be 2% or above. PRimage are not convinced by this government prediction!

Today’s economic news headlines make gloomy reading – and reconfirm our concerns; with the UK’s leading employers’ organisation, the CBI, warning that the UK economy is in a worse state than previously thought! And a survey of 1,200 bosses by KPMG and the Chartered Institute of Personal Development has found just 29% plan to hire staff between July and September. We’re sure that many employees will be fearing redundancies. Judy Viitanen is concerned that if more people lose their jobs, the number of people falling behind on mortgages will rise and that house repossessions, which leapt by 48% in the first half of 2008 will become more commonplace.

Pharmacy survey shows millions take prescription medications incorrectly

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Judy Viitanen was interested to read a news report which shows that more than eight million adults in the UK have taken prescriptions medicines incorrectly. According to the Lloydspharmacy study almost 1.8 million suffered adverse reactions as a result. Their research also reveals that 2.7 million people have confused dosage and frequency instructions for two medicines they are taking concurrently and more than two million say they have continued with a repeat prescription even though they had forgotten why it was prescribed. It appears that these problems are more acute among older patients.

Chlamydia drug to be sold in pharmacies – PRimage comment

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK – and young people account for two thirds of all new cases. It is known as the “silent infection”, as sufferers often have no symptoms, but if left untreated it can cause infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Judy Viitanen has read that some 70 per cent of people who have chlamydia have no symptoms and could therefore remain undiagnosed. This means that they are at huge risk of serious long-term health complications. So Judy and the PRimage team believe that it is a very positive move today that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has given approval for Clamelle – a drug to treat chlamydia – to be made available over the counter for the first time.

As a specialist healthcare communications consultancy, with clients in the pharmcy sector, PRimage is aware that increasing numbers of men and women are getting tested for chlamydia at their pharmacy – and today’s move means that men and women aged 16 and over will be able to get the antibiotic if they have tested positive for the infection and have no symptoms. Their partners will also be able to get the drug,and it should hit shelves later this year.

PRimage understand that the drug, also called azithromycin, will still be available via the traditional route – either from a GP or a genito-urinary medicine clinic. We totally agree with the view from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and pharmacists that the reclassification of the drug in the UK as an “over the counter” medicine will offer a more convenient alternative for some patients. No-one will be able to simply walk off the street and buy the drug without some evidence they have chlamydia, or are likely to have it. A letter giving the results of either a postal test kit, also available in certain pharmacies, or a test carried out in a surgery or clinic, will be needed.

Play safe in the sun! – Sun sense advice from Day Lewis Pharmacy

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

School’s out for summer and as many families will now be off on holiday, thinking about heading to the beach or letting their children play outside in the sunshine, Primage client, Day Lewis Pharmacy Group wants to raise awareness of safe sun care – and this summer all their 165 pharmacy branches will be offering customers some important and helpful hints to ensure families ‘play safe in the sun’.

Peter Glover, Day Lewis Superintendant Pharmacist tells Judy Viitanen: “Many people may think they know all about avoiding the dangers of the sun, but new statistics suggest that may not always be the case. A report from the European Journal of Cancer reveals that the UK has the highest skin cancer rates for children aged up to 14 and teenagers aged 15 to 19. Sunburn as a child can double the chances of cancer in later life – so kids need to be protected with sunscreen, clothing and shade when spending time outdoors on sunny days. So, SLIP on a shirt – SLAP on a hat and SLOP on some sunscreen .”

Day Lewis is concerned there are still too many people ignoring advice and taking unnecessary risks by not adequately protecting their own and their families’ skin and underestimating the potential harm of overexposure. Research by the British Skin Foundation shows that 37% of parents buy sunscreens with lower than the recommended SPF30 for their children, and they think that by applying sunscreen once, their child is safe. But it is crucial that it is reapplied frequently.

As the UK’s largest independent pharmacy multiple, all Day Lewis pharmacists are geared up to offering expert advice and answering questions on safe sun care – and will be advising parents that when choosing a sunscreen this summer it’s essential to use a high factor product, with an SPF 30 or more, with good UVA + UVB protection. UVA rays penetrate beneath the skin & cause deeper damage and the UVB rays are the ones that burn.

Gordon Brown’s Leadership: voters verdict shows things can only get worse, say’s PRimage

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Judy Viitanen is watching the current sagas and machiavellian moves and counter moves in the Labour Party with great interest. Just when it seems that things can’t get any worse for Gordon Brown, with leadership speculation continuing apace, and subtle criticism and undermining tactics from MPs and Ministers saying that Gordon Brown must return to the tactics of “bold Labour”, a new YouGov opinion poll in today’s Daily Telegraph reveals that the Prime Ministers personal popularity has fallen to an historic low — with barely one voter in seven believing he is fit for the job of prime minister!

Worse still, nearly two-thirds of the electorate (65%) think that he has now become a “liability” for Labour. Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team agree 100% — we have been commenting on this issue consistently in recent months. We recall that the last PM who recorded such dire personal approval poll ratings was the wimpish Sir John Major in 1995, two years before his Conservative Government suffered the worst election defeat in modern history!

Given the frenzied speculation about the beleagured PM’s leadership, PRimage believes that the ‘men in grey suits’ within the Labour Party should take note that the survey also shows that dumping Brown would not save Labour from a general election defeat: it appears that none of Brown’s likely replacements – including David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary – can save the party from an election humiliation at the hands of the Conservatives. It’s heartening to see that voters continue to support Cameron’s Conservatives: the YouGov poll place the Tories on 47 per cent and Labour is on 25 per cent, a 22-point lead that would give Mr Cameron a landslide victory at a general election. PRimage view: ‘Bring it on’!

Judy Viitanen has heard today that the Prime Minister has ordered a series of meetings with his most senior ministers in an attempt to restore his authority …. watch this space