Nope, not a mixed metaphor. I just returned from Brussels where I spoke on what the Europeans call “information to patients” or “ItP” (what we heathens on this side of the Atlantic refer to as “direct to patient communications”). The event was at the Amigo Hotel. (For you trivia buffs, this hotel used to be a prison — and one of its most famous guests was Karl Marx.)
I spoke on the American experience with DTC advertising (both the pros and the problems) and my fellow panelist, James Copping, talked about how the EU is trying to figure out what to do next, since “not American-style drug advertising” is not a go-forward policy. Jim’s a player. He’s the Principal Administrator for the EU’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General, the body drafting the EU’s go-forward recommendations.
One interchange between Jim and me that is worth sharing:
COPPING: “We must find new ways to regulate health care information to patients.”
PITTS: “Jim, I think a better way to frame the question is to say that you need to find new ways to facilitate health care information to patients.”
COPPING: “Yes, that’s right.”
God’s speed Mr. Copping.