E-DRUG: Corporate sponsorship of diabetes campaigns in developing countries
We read with interest the ongoing debate on the truth about drug companies.
This email is to ask any e-drugger, but particularly health advocates, -some
assistance in an article we are writing for the October 2004 issue of Health
and Social Campaigners' News international - a monthly briefing document for
health campaigners [for more information about HSCNews, see its publishers'
website, http://www.patient-view.com/news.htm, or the summary at the end of
The article in question is entitled 'Corporate sponsorship of global campaigns
for chronic diseases: a suitable approach? With a special focus on diabetes in
the developing world'.
HSCNews makes every attempt to present all sides of a story when writing about
important campaigning issues. That is why we are approaching you and your
organisation. Below, we have placed six questions. We would be most grateful if
you could find the time to answer these questions with brief comments. The
entire exercise need only take several minutes. You may write anonymously
should you prefer.
Any responses you make will be incorporated into the article, which will be
sent to you by email when the October issue of HSCNews is published ( toward
the end of October 2004).
About the article
As you are no doubt aware, the WHO has launched a number of programmes to
combat chronic disease. Among the two most recent to be launched are: 'Diabetes
Action Now' (May 5th 2004), in collaboration with the International Diabetes
Federation and the World Diabetes Foundation; and the 'Global Strategy on Diet,
Physical Activity and Health' (May 22nd 2004). These WHO initiatives have
attracted the attention of the corporate sector (pharma, the food industry,
sports clothing companies, retailers, etc). Companies have pledged to work
alongside the WHO, to help its cause. Some companies have launched their own
initiatives or public-private partnerships.
Do you (and your organisation) regard the increased involvement of the private
sector in global chronic disease programmes as a positive development or a
Are you concerned that resources being fed into public-private partnerships on
chronic diseases might divert funds away from other important causes, such as
During the consultative process for the WHO's 'Diabetes Action Now' programme,
a number of respondents insisted that the programme itself was overambitious
and unlikely to be accomplished in the time allocated. Have you any comments on
Some stakeholders said during the consultative process that 'Diabetes Action
Now' appeared to be more focused on care than on prevention. Do you have any
comments about this?
A number of health advocacy groups have suggested that the global initiatives
against diabetes and other chronic diseases do not pay enough attention to
over-consumption of 'junk' food. Can you comment?
Finally, do you believe that the healthcare systems of your own country provide
sufficient information and support about methods of preventing chronic disease
Could you indicate whether you would prefer your responses to be:
[ ] Attributed to you in the article.
[ ] Attributed to your organisation in the article.
[ ] Mentioned anonymously in the article.
Thank you for any help you may have provided. Your opinions will make the
article a broader and more accurate piece of work. We hope you will enjoy
[HSCNetwork is a virtual network for health campaigners-rather like WebMD or
NetDoctor, but for health and disability-based NGOs. The Network and its News
service are funded entirely out of subscriptions and 'advertorials', and is
independent of sponsorship from industry, government, or any other
organisation. HSCNetwork and HSCNews are administered by PatientView, a
publishing and research house that has been working on behalf of patients and
campaigners since 2000.]
Dr Alexandra Wyke
Health and Social Campaigners' Network international
The global virtual network for health advocates
Powys, LD7 1NG, Wales
For more information go to: http://www.patient-view.com/hscnetwork.htm