Friday, June 09, 2006

Fluke - or Flack?

Sorry folks – goodbyes are sad but there are times when a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. For this is D-day – the day the World Cup begins, and even the blog will not have the attention it deserves. With 64 matches to watch in the next 30 days, (2.13 matches per day) I regret to say that posts (and lawn mowings) are going to be few and brief. I guess it will not be nearly as disruptive an event in the US of A - although they, too, are represented: soccer doesn't rate many column-inches in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Which could be partly why everyone wishes them well. Another reason is that most of the US team play for English clubs. But they’re in a group which includes Italy, Czech Republic and Ghana, so they won’t have an easy ride. Got to go soon - Germany's playing Costa Rica. Who? (A cynic would say we can't have the host country losing the first game.)

Domestic Goddess (aka DG) calls me a cynic – I prefer sceptic even though the OED says they mean the same. Our equivalent of the FDA – called NICE – just approved a drug quicker than they ever did before. This is the scenario: woman wants drug. National Health Service (NHS) says it’s not approved, and it’s too expensive anyway (over £100M or $180M from the already strapped NHS budget). Woman says she will sell her house if necessary to buy the drug. And suddenly, Presto! -
1. patient can afford to threaten legal action
2. eminent surgeons appear on TV saying how effective it has proved in the US, (Guess they just happened to be in London on vacation)
3. networks miraculously have footage of product, with manufacturer’s logo discreetly displayed,
4. NICE approves drug,
5. NHS says of course they can afford it. Cue product footage again.
Another triumph for PR.
And I’m a cynic? Well at least I didn’t take advantage of it by buying manufacturer’s stock.
Here at home we are very close to a serious medical problem and, as a last resort, are trying to get surgeons to prescribe experimental treatment, but without success. Would some drug company’s PR Dept help? We wouldn’t try – cancer of the tongue isn’t a big enough market.

2 comments:

Ed R said...

World Cup is secondary to the health problem.
Do what ya gotta, we're not going anywhere.

ted said...

Thanks Ed - we will, and we're trying everything. I just get annoyed that drug companies seem to base research decisions on size of market and whether it has a strong feminine voice - and ours has neither.