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Archive for May, 2009

Decriminalisation of dispensing errors: Day Lewis Pharmacy comment

Friday, May 29th, 2009


Leading pharmacy companies and professional bodies have united in a pledge to support a pan-pharmacy campaign for the decriminalisation of dispensing errors, following a recent court case where a locum pharmacist, Elizabeth Lee, received a three month suspended prison sentence following a dispensing error.


PRimage client, Day Lewis – the largest independent multiple pharmacy group and a strong advocate of patient safety – is at the forefront of the campaign support.  Day Lewis Managing Director and Superintendent Pharmacist, Peter Glover, feels that the Elizabeth Lee case has ‘set patient safety back years’.  He comments: “Anything that can be done to decriminalise dispensing errors should be done as soon as possible.”

The Power of Public Relations: PRimage tips to business owners

Friday, May 29th, 2009


Are you launching a new product, promoting your business, or just wanting to increase sales? Public relations (PR) can help your customers understand your business, product, service, brand or message.  In these tough economic times there is a strong argument for business owners to do all they can to promote and grow their company and brand.  Public relations really is an inexpensive way for your business to get noticed, create an impression, and be remembered. Find out how PRimage can help your business!  Contact us on: Tel: +44(0)1727874137; Mobile: 07717691845.  E-mail: judy@primage.org

PRimage applaud Tory pledge for shake-up of power!

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009


Judy Viitanen was heartened to read news reports this morning that the Conservative leader, David Cameron, has promised to deliver a dramatic and much needed redistribution of power in response to voter anger and disgust at the scandal of MPs expenses.  Writing in the Guardian, he calls for a shake-up in the way Britain is governed.  He says: “I believe the central objective of the new politics we need should be a massive, sweeping radical redistribution of power.  From the state to the citizens; from government to Parliament; from Whitehall to communities.  From the EU to Britain; from judges to the people; from bureaucracy to democracy.  Through decentralisation, transparency and accountability we must take power away from the political elite and hand it to the man and woman in the street.”  

PRimage believes that Cameron’s vision and pledge will resonate with the vast majority of the electorate ….. ‘Bring it on’ we say!  What’s your opinion?  Please post a comment with your views.

Health hazards of excessive drinking! PRimage comment

Friday, May 22nd, 2009


Judy Viitanen is concerned at the findings of a new report which shows that a quarter of the adult population is drinking at levels that are hazardous to their health. It appears that one in four adults in England are now classed as ‘hazardous’ drinkers, consuming so much alcohol that they are at risk of serious conditions like liver disease and depression.   And equally alarming is the statistic which suggests that one in ten men is on the brink of alcoholism! 

NHS finances back in the black – with a record £1.7bn surplus! PRimage comment

Thursday, May 21st, 2009


notes-moneyPRimage recall that only three or four years ago the NHS was overspending and in serious financial trouble. So Judy Viitanen was interested to read reports this morning that NHS under spend has triggered calls for more money to be put into frontline services and care. PRimage would support this view – as would the vast majority of patients and frontline healthcare professionals, we are sure.  It appears that during this tough economic climate the NHS has amassed a record cash surplus of £1.7bn. The under spend represents a rapid turnaround in health finances: three years ago, the organisation recorded a £500m deficit. It’s good news that NHS finances are back in the black. And one must applaud the current Health Secretary, Alan Johnson: alan_johnson1these figures are in sharp contrast to the state of the NHS finances of his predecessor, Patricia Hewitt who, PRimage recalls, was slow handclapped at a nurses’ conference during a debate about NHS debt problems!!  However, reading comments made by the Commons public accounts committee (PAC) yesterday, it would seem that these large NHS reserves constitute a different form of political embarrassment.  News sources report the comments from Edward Leigh, chairman of the PAC:  “It’s not the case that the bigger a surplus the better” …. “Patients lose out if too much NHS funding is sitting unspent in bank accounts.”  PRimage understands that the cash came from a number of sources, including a fall in the price of generic medicines and the underuse of contingency funds. Savings were also made by changing the habit of trusts spending their entire budget at the end of each year. The PAC report comments that this scenario was “regardless of whether it was in the most appropriate fashion”.

‘Monitoring and lifestyle factors crucial in prevention of hypertension’, says Lifeclinic

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009



A new research study published online in the British Medical Journal has concluded that everyone aged over 55 should be given medicines to lower their blood pressure, regardless of whether or not they have high blood pressure.


Responding to this latest research study, Phil Claxton, President of Lifeclinic International, Inc, the world’s leading manufacturer and distributor of automated blood pressure monitors and health testing stations, comments:

“Many medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, can be affected by lifestyle, and the close monitoring of vital signs is crucial to identify problems and their response to changes in lifestyle.  Hypertension has no outward symptoms, so getting your blood pressure reading checked regularly is the only way to know if you are at risk.  While prevention is better than cure, there are also other proven ways to prevent high blood pressure – such as healthy eating and regular exercise – which have other health benefits too. It is important that the over 55’s are aware of the role of a healthy lifestyle in lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. Your diet, exercise levels and weight have a real effect on your blood pressure – and Lifeclinic is concerned that there is a risk that these important lifestyle factors could be overlooked in favour of ‘popping a pill’.

He adds:

Our business is about providing state-of-the-art technology and solutions that enable individuals to become proactive in managing their own health. We will be launching the Lifeclinic brand in the U.K. later this year –and we are looking forward to working with the NHS, community pharmacists, and the Blood Pressure Association to help raise public awareness of the value of having their blood pressure checked to see if they are at risk of hypertension.  We regard this as a high priority for our company, because uncontrolled high blood pressure is like a hidden time bomb which can cause stroke, heart attack and heart failure.”

PRimage comment:

16 million adults in the UK have high blood pressure (that’s one in three) – but more than five million don’t know it because the condition has no obvious symptoms.  PRimage client, Lifeclinic International, Inc, intends to play an active role in raising awareness of the condition, and by providing biometric testing health stations in community pharmacies and a diverse range of easily accessible locations around the country.

Lifeclinic is the world’s largest supplier of commercial, automated, blood pressure monitors and health stations.  Their commercial automatic blood pressure monitors can be found in over 25,000 pharmacies and 5,000 worksites, medical clinics and health clubs in the U.S. – and are used more than 1,000,000 times a day. The health management systems encourage individuals to take an active role in their healthcare and provide corporate management with tools to help reduce costs while improving the health of individual employees.

Lifeclinic plans to launch its range of biometric health stations in the UK later this year. Lifeclinic health stations provide cost-effective tools to fight the hypertension and obesity epidemic.

To find out more about the Lifeclinic brand, please visit the company web site: www.lifeclinic.com – or email p.claxton@lifeclinic.com  For more information about the prevention and treatment of hypertension, visit the Blood Pressure Association web site: www.bpassoc.org.uk  

PRimage support calls for a General Election … Bring it on!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

With the ongoing scandal of MPs expenses Parliament has gone through its darkest period in living memory.  Judy Viitanen is delighted to learn this evening that the Speaker of the House of Commons has finally resigned: thank God!

The PRimage team are right behind David Cameron is his calls for a General Election to be held as soon as possible.  Bring it on we say! There are many dedicated, hard-working MPs across all the political parties – but what has come to light over recent weeks about MPs abuse of expenses means that the majority of the electorate are appalled and disgusted – and want to kick those guilty MPs out.


The Conservatives have launched a petition demanding that Gordon Brown calls a General Election.

You can help kick-start this campaign right now – just click here to sign the petition online, and then send the link to your friends and colleagues.

As David Cameron says, “If we all Sign for Change we can send a message that the government can’t ignore”


PRimage quote of the day

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

 “A modest little person, with much to be modest about.” – Winston Churchill

We’ve recently been dipping into a quirky little book of Winston Churchill’s famous ‘put down’ quotes … Some of them are absolutely wonderful! Judy particularly loves the exchange between Churchill and Lady Astor: She said: “If you were my husband I’d give you poison,” and he said: “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.” 





Hay fever hazards – how to beat the sneeze!

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Like millions of other sufferers, PRimage MD Judy Viitanen is experiencing the miseries of hay fever symptoms at the moment.



PRimage client, Day Lewis, the UK’s largest independent pharmacy multiple, has just issued a ‘hay fever survival guide’ news release to the regional media.  Look our for it in your local newspaper.

Here are some tips from your local Day Lewis Pharmacist to help us all cope and ‘beat the sneezes’:


If you have hay fever, you are allergic to pollen and/or fungal spores. Hay fever symptoms can include sneezing, a blocked or runny nose, itchy eyes, nose and throat, headaches, not being able to concentrate, sleeping badly, and feeling generally unwell. In some people, pollen may also trigger asthma.

But you don’t have to suffer in silence each summer – you can take steps yourself to prevent exposure to pollen, and there are treatments available.


Avoiding pollen exposure

·     Keep doors and windows closed when the pollen count is high.

·     Stay away from areas where there is more pollen especially in the early morning, late afternoon and evening.

·     Wear wrap-around sunglasses.

·     Don’t put washing outside if pollen counts are high as pollen may get trapped in the fibres.


What hay fever treatments are available?

There are over the counter treatments you can take to make life as comfortable as possible, and your GP may also prescribe medicines to ease your symptoms. You should get advice from your pharmacist before starting any medication, even if you buy it over the counter. And follow the instructions on the patient information leaflet that comes with the medicine.


Nasal sprays and drops

·     Steroid-based nasal sprays and drops – these are most likely to reduce inflammation and may help clear your nose (However, they do need to be taken regularly to be effective).

·     Nasal sprays and drops containing antihistamines – these reduce sneezing and itching, but are less good at unblocking your nose.

·     Nasal sprays and drops containing decongestants – these can reduce swelling in the lining of your nose and prevent mucus production, helping to clear your nose in the short-term only.

·     Sodium cromoglycate – your GP may recommend this if you are already taking steroids for another allergic condition, if your symptoms are mild or if the medicine is for a child.


Eye drops
These are for itchy eyes – some eye drops contain antihistamines and others contain sodium cromoglycate. You may be prescribed nedocromil sodium if your symptoms are more severe.


Tablets usually contain antihistamines, which work to reduce sneezing, watering eyes and an itchy mouth and throat. Some antihistamines can make you feel drowsy.


If all other treatments have failed to provide relief, a specialist may advise you to try immunotherapy. This involves being given doses of the pollen to which you are allergic over a period of time.


Your GP may prescribe you a short course of steroid tablets if you have severe hay fever, or if you need fast symptom relief – your dose can be adjusted according to the pollen count and you can stop taking the tablets straight away if you have any side-effects. You can use other treatments such as nasal sprays while taking steroids.



PRimage book recommendation

Friday, May 15th, 2009

In these grim economic times we all need to sharpen up our business ideas, thinking and techniques – and so the PRimage team have just been checking out an interesting new book for some inspiration - “The Economist Guide to Management Ideas and Gurus”, by Tim Hindle (Profile Books; £20).  This guide has the low-down on more than 50 of the world’s most influential management thinkers past and present and over 100 of the most influential business-management ideas.  Worth getting!