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PR and Med Ed news in brief

Our weekly round-up of news affecting the industry

Tarrant backs alternative cancer therapy

Chris Tarrant, host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, is calling for public, government and corporate financial support for non-invasive cancer treatment, photodynamic therapy (PDT), on behalf of charity Killing Cancer. PDT uses a combination of a drug and low powered light that kills cancer cells by cutting off the oxygen supply. Patients receiving the treatment do not suffer from any of the side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, such as hair loss and damage to their immune system. The television presenter made his plea following a meeting with a medical and research team at London's National Medical Laser Centre (NMLC), where he was told that a number of cancers can be treated using PDT which, due to lack of publicity and funding, is not widely available on the NHS. The charity has launched a website to provide information on PDT for GPs and the public www.killingcancer.co.uk. The site gives details of which cancers can be treated using PDT and has patient interviews.

Maisy joins Diabetes campaign

Diabetes UK is using pin badges of children's character Maisy the Mouse to raise funds for the charity throughout July and August. Four badge designs will be available, at a suggested donation of £1, at over 2,000 Lloyds TSB branches across the UK. Of the 1.8m people in the UK with diabetes, around 20,000 are children under 15. Proceeds from the pin badges will fund a variety of activities including research projects, as well as a range of support weekends and holidays for children and newly diagnosed adults. Separately, the charity is mounting its biggest membership drive in its history in an attempt to increase numbers from 170,000 to 250,000 by 2007. The campaign by Domain will include a mailing to 150,000 people with diabetes encouraging them to join Diabetes UK. The mailing, which carries the headline `Peace of Mind', explains that for £20, or £9 for those on reduced income, sufferers can receive advice and help about diabetes. The campaign will be backed by ads in the national newspapers later this month.

Bayer selects Euro RSCG

Bayer has revitalised the global PR strategy for Levitra and appointed Euro RSCG Biss Lancaster to handle global consumer communications for the treatment. The consumer campaign will span 29 markets, including Australia, Malaysia and the Caribbean, and run over an initial 18-month period. Euro RSCG Life replaces Ogilvy PR Worldwide on the account. Earlier this year, Bayer hired Euro RSCG Life to handle communications targeted at healthcare professionals while Euro RSCG/Fuel is the company's global brand and advertising agency. Red Door Communications will continue to handle UK-specific work on Levitra.

2nd September 2008

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