Prescription recalls…Don’t worry, it’s just a little bit of glass

April 11, 2007

tylenol.jpgBeing a senior public relations major at Kent State University, time and time again I have been introduced to the Tylenol scandal from 1982.  Of course, crisis management is something that public relations professionals might have to deal with, and the Tylenol scare is probably one of the best practices for ways to handle a crisis. 

In case you haven’t heard about it, let me give you a brief description of what happened.  In 1982, Tylenol was the leading pain reliever brand in the United States.  In Chicago, seven deaths were reported because of cyanide that was put in the Tylenol capsules.  After sending out public announcements warning people about the Tylenol deaths, Johnson & Johnson recalled every bottle of Tylenol in the U.S. and halted advertising. 

We have learned in public relation’s classes about crisis management, and if you ask the PR students at Kent State, this will most likely always come to mind. 

Well, here we go again.  I just read Pharmacuetical Business Online, and a division of Johnson & Johnson has begun a voluntary recall on Grifulvin V.  There have been two reports of glass found in the bottles of liquid that occurred during the shipping of the product.  Johnson & Johnson said the product is now going to be over wrapped to try and prevent breakage while shipping. 

I think all PR majors can learn a lesson when they get into real world.  When managing a crisis, communicate and react quickly.  People scare easily when it comes to health risks.  Make sure you understand the situation and understand that it could potentially get even worse. 

When prescription drugs start to cause fatalities, it becomes an even bigger problem.  The prescription Zelnorm was pulled from shelves a couple weeks ago, but no deaths were reported…yet.  In fact, some people are upset that the drug was recalled because the FDA said that it causes more health risks than benefits.  More than 11 million people have taken the drug.  The company might not be happy that the drug was recalled, but you never know, the FDA might have stopped the drug company from dealing with a crisis in the future. 


No No, just let people sit there and rot while you go about your day

April 3, 2007

hospital-bed1.jpgWorking at a hospital, I sometimes see senior citizens checked-in to the hospital with some very serious bedsores after being in a nursing home.  In fact, bedsore deaths account for higher deaths than those caused by adverse drug reactions. I am not going to bash all nursing homes, but I think there are some ignorant and lazy people out there who aren’t realizing the damage they’re causing by not carefully caring for those who cannot move themselves in bed. There are many nursing home patients who are disabled and need constant care. 

I see this as a HUGE public relations problem.  As a young PR professional, I have learned a company should be trustworthy.  If your potential customers don’t trust in the service you’re providing, it’s downhill from there.  

Nursing homes should consider the amount of publics they’re dealing with.  For one, adults who are looking for a place for their parents will spend a large amount of time researching nursing homes.  Also, not all senior citizens are vegetables and if they see bedsores on others–see ya later.  They aren’t going to stick around. 

And, what happens when there is a lawsuit against the nursing home for bedsores?  Yea, it might have been one employee who failed to care for someone, but it will shed a negative light over the entire organization.

I feel sorry for those senior citizens in nursing homes rotting away while lazy employees go about their day.  Maybe they don’t realize the damage they’re causing while neglecting their work.  This is a serious problem.  I hope nursing homes show training videos that give graphic photos of what bedsores look like.  Maybe that will give employees the kick in the ass they need to care for someone appropriately. 

I can’t fathom what these employees are thinking.  Just go ahead, skip your room numbers and let your responsibilities rot away in their rooms.  They don’t need any attention.  Bedsores that appear and are so deep in the skin that you can actually see inside a person’s body aren’t that big of deal I guess…