Novartis, Ruder Finn effort shows dangers of high blood pressure

EAST HANOVER, NJ: Drug company Novartis is working with Ruder Finn to promote a public-awareness campaign about the dangers associated with high blood pressure.

EAST HANOVER, NJ: Drug company Novartis is working with Ruder Finn to promote a public-awareness campaign about the dangers associated with high blood pressure.

Although the campaign meets recent FDA guidelines that encourage drug companies to call attention to risks from diseases rather than promote specific products, Anna Frable, executive director of PR, said that the program was in development before the guidelines were issued.

The campaign includes both advertising and PR.

The drug company has partnered with professional medical associations to sponsor community blood pressure screenings and to distribute patient-education information.

Information about high blood pressure is also available at www.healthybp.com, a website created by Novartis.

Novartis launched the effort last month in Washington, DC. It was joined by prominent guests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.

"[The initiative is] really focused on education," Frable explained. "They are not endorsing any of our high blood pressure brands."

As part of the campaign, however, Novartis is offering a money-back guarantee to patients whose blood pressure is not controlled with the maximum dosage of any of its three blood pressure drugs.

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