PRCA moves to set up healthcare group

The PRCA has launched a healthcare group in a bid to enhance the professional reputation of the healthcare communications industry.

Paul Keirnan: co-chairing new PRCA health group
Paul Keirnan: co-chairing new PRCA health group

PRCA Health is one of a number of initiatives being spearheaded by PRCA chairman David Gallagher. Groups covering different sectors of PR are planned for later this year.

The health group is designed to provide an opportunity for dialogue between member agencies, in order to shape the future of the industry.

The group will include member agencies that supply healthcare comms to clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. It will also encompass health service organisations, professional medical organisations, patient groups and charities.

It will be co-chaired by Paul Keirnan, former MD of GCI Health. Other members of the executive board include co-chair Fleishman-Hillard director Claire Ashbridge-Thomlinson, and acting co-chair Fleishman-Hillard associate director Marc Southern.

'Proactive and positive communication about our industry would be helped by a great focus,' said Keirnan. 'As communicators, we are in an ideal position to help drive that and support one of the best industries in the world.'

Over the next 12 months the group will focus on areas including procurement and the PRCA CMS accreditation. It will also work closely with pharma trade bodies including the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority.

Other tasks will include creating a digital workshop and demystifying the rules around health and the web.

To mark the launch of the group, the PRCA commissioned a survey that found members wanted a best practice guideline on online communications.

- Watch PRCA Health co-chair Paul Keirnan and comms manager Richard Ellis discuss the PRCA Health group and the survey at

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