J-Cilag handles Evra job in-house

Pharma company Janssen-Cilag this week ruled out drafting in UK agency support to provide a PR boost to its under-fire contraceptive patch Evra.

Janssen-Cilag’s response to media reports linking the product with at least 17 women’s deaths was being handled by in-house PROs, said UK head of medical affairs Gill Hamilton, who added that there were ‘no plans’ to bring in external PR support for the brand.

Evra has formerly been promoted by Sugar Consulting but the agency ceased to push the brand almost six months ago.

‘We take safety extremely seriously. We are monitoring [press] reports [of the coverage] and we are following them up,’ Hamilton said.

Negative UK coverage followed US reports that 17 deaths and 21 life-threatening blood clots and other ailments had been linked to the product.

Evra launched in the UK 15 months ago, a year after it became available in the US under the name Ortho Evra. The product has been used by four million women worldwide, said Hamilton.

The product’s labelling is consistent with other combined hormonal contraceptives and warns of potential side-effects, she added.

Organisations such as the Family Planning Association reiterated their view that the product was safe this week.

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