Drugs company Shire Pharmaceuticals’ decision to launch a Website called DementiaLink.co.uk, which aims to promote and raise the profile of its Alzheimer’s drug Reminyl XL during Alzheimer’s Awareness Week in July, has been called into question by the Alzheimer’s Society.
A spokeswoman says any marcoms push by Shire during Alzheimer’s Awareness Week would "send mixed messages" to consumers. The charity’s awareness week aims to draw the public’s attention to recognising early symptoms of dementia.
In a statement announcing the appointment of HSD Communications to handle the Website launch, associate director Cerys Evans, who will head the campaign, says: "The current spotlight on Alzheimer’s disease makes it a crucial time for Shire to communicate with healthcare professionals, patients and their families."
However, the Alzheimer’s Society spokeswoman says there is no definitive partnership between the charity and the pharmaceuticals company. "At the Alzheimer’s Society, we’re talking about recognising and tackling dementia at an early stage, not treating it."
She adds that while raising the profile of the drug among GPs and clinicians would make sense, in terms of targeting consumers it would be a confusing strategy.