The website Alcohol Reduction was bought to my attention by a GP friend of mine when she’d been emailed about it.
What’s interesting about this site and the promotional email to my GP friend is that it is provided by Lundbeck the pharmaceutical company that make Nalmefene, the drug aimed at people who are alcohol dependent and have a high drinking risk level. I wrote about it here and Alcohol Policy UK have written a really good balanced summary of all the news about it at the time which you can read here.
What I find interesting about this is the speed at which Lundbeck are now advertising and promoting this product even though it is currently only in draft consultation phase with NICE. Their website is really informative about the facts, figures and dangers of alcohol and it’s impact on health and social factors. Here are a few key statements from the website:
- So in 2009, just 10% of male drinkers and 7% of female drinkers in England had discussed their alcohol consumption with a healthcare professional
- Up to 1.3m children are affected by parental alcohol problems
- Alcohol reduction, if needed, is a key component of the lifestyle interventions recommended for high blood pressure management
Now this is all good, don’t get me wrong, as these facts need to be shared but it is interesting that this information isn’t being presented in this way by our Govt or Department of Health but by a private pharmaceutical company.
And this may be where the lever of change starts because we now have the pharmaceutical industry looking to profit from the drinks industry with competing advertising and lobbying. Smoking cessation success was triggered by change in Govt policy and legislation, but was also supported and driven by the pharmaceutical industry as they were providing all the nicotine replacement therapy drugs and products. Official figures suggest that the proportion of over-18 smokers fell from 19.8% in 2012 to 18.7% in 2013 and smoking has fallen to the lowest level in the UK since records were started in the 1940’s (read more here). Smoking has been tackled very successfully.
So this could help to change the mindset of GP’s and the wider perspective on alcohol generally which would be no bad thing 🙂
What do you think?
Edited to add: 26th June 2015
More people in the North are actively fighting their addiction to alcohol, according to figures released this morning. The number of prescriptions written for anti-alcohol drugs in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Cumbria rose by 12.7% last year to 11,761 | ITV, UK