Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Less is Not Always More: As a rule, I think public relations people should be very careful about making the argument that the public should see less information rather than more, so I’m not particularly comfortable with the proposal by the Coalition for Healthcare Communication (of which the PRSA is a member) that would—according to an AP report—“strip most of the warnings from prescription drug ads aimed at consumers.”

It is quite possible to reduce the content in a warning while making it more informative, but I would want to see some very solid research before I went that route. The Coalition argues that its goal is “simpler, clearer messages that communicate both the risks and benefits of prescription medicines, more informed doctor-patient dialogue and improved patient compliance.”

Fair enough. Then what’s wrong with the proposal by the Consumers Union to provide the simplified message suggested by the Coalition up front, while retaining the more detailed information currently provided? That way those “without the background or education to understand” the more detailed warning (as the Coalition patronizes beautifully) wouldn’t be overburdened, while those who are capable of thinking for themselves would still be able to do so.

2 Comments:

  • At 12:29 PM, Anonymous PRSA said…

    Regarding the Blog entry, on the Coalition for Healthcare, and its petition to the FDA asking for new rules governing consumer advertising of prescription drugs.
    Please note that PRSA is not a member of the Healthcare Coalition. In addition PRSA has given no permissions, nor endorsements regarding this petition. PRSA has contacted both the Associated Press and the Healthcare Coalition to correct this error. On another note, according to the Healthcare Coalition the AP story headline was misleading and did not convey the true purpose of the petition. The petition is asking that risk disclosure be made in a more understandable format and be written with the consumer in mind. (Current language is written for the prescriber of a medication not the consumer.).

     
  • At 10:25 AM, Blogger Paul A. Holmes said…

    Fair enough, and good to hear.

     

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