Coalition Against Thromboembolism
According to the Guardian:
- This month Burson-Marsteller's efforts to raised awareness in DVT have crossed the Atlantic. The Observer was passed a letter sent to health groups across Europe at the end of August urging them to join an organisation called the Coalition Against Thromboembolism.
- It states: 'Thrombosis is an important health problem affecting tens of thousands of medical and surgical patients every year in Europe. We intend for this coalition to become a powerful movement... raising awareness of the burden of DVT and its preventive measures among key opinion leaders, medical practitioners, policy-makers and the general public is of paramount importance.'
- The letter is signed by Professor Ajay Kakkar, a surgeon and deputy director of the Thrombosis Research Institute. The contact details of the group written in small print at the bottom of the letter reveal the coalition's head quarters are based in the Brussels' office of Burson-Marsteller.
- Kakkar rejects any suggestion that the coalition is bankrolled by Aventis or other drug groups, describing it as a genuine attempt to raise the profile of DVT. He said: 'DVT is preventable, but kills thousands of people a year. I believe that, if we can get support from Europe's health groups and medical societies, then it is the best way to get a vital message over to health practitioners and stop people dying from DVT.'
- David Earnshaw, managing director of Burson-Marsteller in Brussels, who is in charge of the thrombosis campaign vigorously denied any covert strategy or backing from drug groups.
- He said: 'We developed this idea with scientists who are convinced that raising awareness of DVT can save lives. At the moment there is no drug money involved but, yes, if it takes off we will be looking for support from many groups, including the pharmaceutical industry.'