ABPI rethinks Code Day strategy

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry is overhauling the comms strategy around its annual Code Day.

The ABPI has revealed that nurses and pharmacists will be the target of a comms campaign to support the second Code Day on 15 May.

This is a clear shift in emphasis from 2006, when hospital doctors and GPs were the main focus.

Code Day is an attempt by the pharma trade body to explain how the industry operates. The in-house campaign specifically aims to publicise the ABPI's code of practice, which is run by the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA).

PMCPA communications manager Niamh MacMahon told PRWeek: ‘This year we are targeting new prescribing groups as well as doctors.'

Nurses and pharmacists have been able to prescribe medicines since 2003. Media relations activity will zero in on publications such as Chemist and Druggist and Nursing Times, alongside medical magazines such as Pulse and BMA Journal.

As well as media relations, the PMCPA will attempt to secure speaker slots on key platforms such as the Royal College of Nursing's annual conference.

Santé Communications, which ran last year's PR programme for Code Day, has not been rehired for this year's campaign, but MacMahon did not rule out the agency's involvement in the future.

She said: ‘We may call on Santé for help as things progress.'

PMCPA research this month suggested that 73 per cent of doctors are aware of the ABPI's code, compared with just ove 50 per cent a year ago.

In the same research, only 61 per cent of nurses were aware of it.

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