M&F defends sleep disorder drug

The PR team behind the promotion of Cephalon’s sleep disorder treatment Provigil has hit back at media claims that it is a ‘lifestyle drug’ for a ‘24-hour society’.

Brian Gunson, chairman of the firm’s retained UK agency Munro & Forster,

rejected claims published in the New York Times and The Sunday Times among others that the drug is a lifestyle aid.

The reports claimed that studies in the US show three quarters of those taking the pill do so for non-medical reasons.

Gunson said: ‘This is a very serious matter. It will only be prescribed for people who have sleep disorders. The key here is medical prescription, it is not about lifestyle.’

The PR campaign is now under way in the UK to promote Provigil, with GPs and professionals with a specialism in sleep disorders among those being targeted.

Gunson added: ‘Sleep disorder is not high on the NHS’s list of priorities, despite it being a big issue.’

In April, Cephalon announced that Provigil had received marketing approval in the UK regarding the treatment of excessive sleepiness in patients suffering chronic pathological conditions, including narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome and moderate to severe shift-work sleep disorder.

It is approved in more than 20 countries.

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