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Healthcare's Influencer Problem : PRmoment Health Communications Review

PRmoment's weekly 'Healthcare Communications Review' column looks at the biggest healthcare trends every week and analyses the communications implications. In partnership with SPAG, A Finn Partners Company.

Locked up in our homes during the pandemic, we were a captive audience for a host of health influencers pushing everything from immunity boosters to supplements to home remedies for colds and coughs.

But, of late this has crossed into dangerous territory. Some popular health influencers are touting cures for obesity, PCOD and Diabetes. This can have serious consequences in a country already facing the challenges of antibiotic resistance due to indiscriminate pill popping.

Timely regulatory moves: FSSAI, Department of Consumer Affairs 

In a timely move, the Department of Consumer Affairs has made it mandatory for influencers dispensing health and fitness advice to display their qualification. This could also apply to influencers selling common supplements such as whey protein.

In another development, FSSAI has written to its state units to ensure that supplements do not exceed its permitted limits, some of the supplements are easily available on e-commerce sites.

In a previous column on science and building trust Aman Gupta, managing partner, health practice Asia, SPAG FINN Partners said, “Trust based on data and scientific rigour is the basis of any scientific communications and the expectations of every audience when they hear an expert." 

However, Gupta added that "While working recently for global multilateral organizations, we found that people trusted individuals who had credibility not only because of subject matter expertise but also their ability to translate that into a common language. Additionally, traditional media is trusted more in comparison to social media.”

Health Communicator of the Week 

Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, of the Department of Consumer Affairs, called out health influencers to display their qualifications.


1) As Covid cases rise, Gurgaon implements mask mandate.

2) Actress Shruti Haasan urges speaking out on mental health.

Call out of the week

Less than two weeks left before the early bird deadline for PRmoment Health Comms Awards 2023. Do apply here.

That's it for this week. Special thanks to SPAG, a FINN Partner company for their ongoing support for this weekly column.

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