LETTER: We are dealing with health, not games ..

The Virgo Health PR report calling for the pharmaceutical industry to improve its reputation (Healthcare News, 23 May) is a welcome response to the question it poses about whether the industry finds itself in an unhealthy paradox.

As a PR graduate who has worked in the not-for-profit, NHS and entertainment PR sectors, I am constantly astounded by the hammering the industry receives.

The pharma industry is a vital one, and it is fair and proper that we work within the regulations - we are dealing with people's health, after all, not patio doors or games consoles.

The regulations within which we work have been improved, with the need for even greater transparency.

But this in itself will not be enough. The industry must recognise that the communications world is changing and it needs to address and proactively engage all stakeholders with accurate and consistent information.

It is time for the industry, its associations and consultancies that support them to all work hard towards a more positive perception. Virgo should be commended for properly igniting this debate. I hope the CIPR and the Healthcare Communications Association continue to push it forward.

Claire Eldridge, MD, Aurora

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