Healthcare: F-H to promote Rotarix vaccine after GSK win

Fleishman-Hillard will mount a global comms campaign for GlaxoSmithKline's Rotarix vaccine after emerging triumphant from a four-way pitch.

The vaccine combats the rotavirus infection - the leading recognised viral cause of diarrhoea-related illness among infants and young children.

Figures show that 95 per cent of children worldwide experience an episode by the time they reach between three and five years of age.

The agency's healthcare practice will communicate the problems caused by rotavirus infection. Fleishman-Hillard will also highlight the importance of vaccination in international markets to prevent the disease.

The agency's head of healthcare Lorna Baxter said: 'Despite rotavirus being the leading recognised viral cause of diarrhoea-related illness among young children, there is a lack of knowledge in international markets of the high economic burden associated with it.'

She added: 'The high infection rate makes it difficult to control the spread of rotavirus. Therefore, vaccination is the only recognised control measure to have a significant impact on the incidence of severe rotavirus and is considered an optimum strategy for disease prevention.'

- GSK's chief executive Jean-Pierre Garnier launched a scathing attack on press coverage of the pharma industry last week. The Guardian reported that Garnier criticised the reporting of scientific developments and 'appeared to partly blame journalists' for the furore surrounding GSK's diabetes drug Avandia.

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