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Drug maker’s PR firm is force behind blood clot awareness campaign

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a502 (Published 26 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1460
  1. Ray Moynihan
  1. 1Melbourne

    The international public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard, working with funds from the drug maker Sanofi-Aventis, is helping run a high profile campaign to raise public awareness about blood clots.

    The campaign, currently running in Australia under the banner of a coalition of health professionals, has generated headlines claiming that blood clots are more deadly than AIDS and articles suggesting that injections for patients at risk of developing clots may become mandatory.

    A national expert on drugs, Alasdair Millar, said that any suggestion that all medical in-patients should receive injections to prevent clots are “extreme and scandalous” and “could cause more harm than good.”

    Evidence suggests that many hospital patients, whether surgical or medical, could benefit from a greater use of drugs to prevent serious clots, including low molecular weight heparins. But Professor Millar is concerned that these drugs will be given to patients who do not need them, thus exposing them unnecessarily to the risk of bleeding.

    Since the launch …

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