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Pharmacy diabetes campaign changed following public action

A major advertising campaign by Lloydspharmacy running during Diabetes Week is being changed following action online from people with diabetes, including those onDiabetes UK’s Facebook page.

Concerns were raised by a number of Diabetes UK supporters after the ads, aimed at people at risk of Type 2 diabetes,  first aired on TV at the weekend but failed to make a distinction between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes UK was not involved in the advertising, but we have spoken to Lloydspharmacy and been reassured that the campaign is being changed to reflect its focus on Type 2 diabetes. We welcome their quick response to address this. In addition, on their website and patient literature, Lloydspharmacy clearly make a distinction between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Different types of diabetes

There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes develops when insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed. This type of diabetes usually appears before the age of 40 and is the least common of the two main types and accounts for around 10 per cent of all people with diabetes. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, it is not known why it develops and it is not connected with being overweight. People with Type 1 diabetes have to take insulin either via a pump or by injections several times a day to stay alive.

Type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly. Type 2 diabetes accounts for between 85 and 95 per cent of all people with diabetes, usually affects people over 40 (over 25 in people of South Asian and Black origin) and is treated with a healthy diet and increased physical activity although medication and/or insulin is often required

Lloydspharmacy response

A statement issued by Lloydspharmacy said: “We understand your concerns about making the distinction between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in our advertising, and apologise for any distress caused. We have taken on board your feedback, and we’re changing our TV and press advertising to make it clearer that we are talking about Type 2 diabetes. We have asked TV companies to put the advert on hold until changes are made. Major channels like ITV were able to do that from Monday night, but smaller channels are not able to do that until later in the week.”

Diabetes UK supporters making a difference

Paul McDonald, Diabetes UK Head of Communications, said: “It is really encouraging to see our supporters playing such a key role in affecting positive change and making a difference.

"Too often, distinctions are not made in the media between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, so it’s great that this advertising is being changed and will now clearly only relate to Type 2 diabetes.

"The two conditions are very different. We take this seriously and always do all we can to make sure they are not portrayed as one in the media.”

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