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Schering-Plough asks "ER" to portray nursing accurately

April 26, 2005 -- Today pharmaceutical giant Schering-Plough asked "ER" Executive Producer John Wells to help address the nursing shortage by developing "stories that highlight accurate roles, responsibilities, skills and contributions of today's modern nursing profession."

Schering-Plough's Senior Vice President of Global Medical Affairs Hans Vemer, MD, PhD wrote his letter to "ER" as a result of the Truth's ongoing campaign to persuade the principal corporate sponsors of the show to portray nursing more accurately. The letter explained that Schering-Plough respects the central role nurses play in delivering care, and it expressed concern about the nation's nursing shortage. Dr. Vemer rightly emphasized that "ER" "reaches many potential nursing candidates and future nurses and can have a positive influence on nursing career decisions."

A second letter from Schering-Plough to the Center stated that "ER" "is within our established guidelines for advertising products"--which presumably means the company does not intend to refrain from advertising on the show, as the Center has requested the major corporate sponsors do until the show improves its portrayal.

Even so, with Schering-Plough's public letter to "ER," the company has communicated a significant statement of concern and support for the campaign's goals directly to the show. The Center commends Dr. Vemer and Schering-Plough for the letter.

See the letter from Schering-Plough to the Truth . (pdf)

See the letter from Schering-Plough to John Wells, Executive Producer of "ER." (pdf)

See our full "ER" analysis and action page.


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