The row over the Government’s pill warning has prompted an Internet-
style medical information firm to speed up its efforts to hire a public
The Aldershot-based World Health Network has developed a computer
software facility to carry clinical information, practice news, job ads
and Department of Health advice via a private network to GPs and health
After spending the last five years developing the system, the company is
now looking to hire a PR consultancy to promote itself among doctors and
the financial community in the United Kingdom and Europe.
It has already invited three agencies - Shandwick, Burson-Marsteller and
Hill & Knowlton - to pitch for the business and expects to make an
appointment within the next six weeks.
Managing director Simon Currey said: ‘We have moved from being a
development company into commercialising our service.
‘In the past it was in our interests to remain unknown because it would
have encouraged people to launch a competitive product. Now we need to
make income and promote ourselves more widely.’
He added that last week’s pill scare, which saw unprepared doctors
swamped by millions of calls from women worried about the link between
deep vein thrombosis and certain brands of contraceptive pill, had
encouraged the company to place a priority on the search for a public
‘It would have completely avoided the embarrassment that GPs faced if
they had had our service,’ said Currey. ‘And a public relations company
could have made hay with that kind of thing. It’s an absolutely
brilliant opportunity for us.’