New Year, New Administration, New FDA and New Cures: Approvals and Enforcement Outlook for 2017
January 11, 2017
Every U.S. federal agency is facing the potential for considerable change given a new Administration taking office this month, setting into motion the process whereby new heads of bureaucracies assume responsibility and bring different priorities and agendas to their respective roles. But one – the Food and Drug Administration – which regulates one-fifth of the...
These are Three Storylines We’re Watching at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference
January 5, 2017
It’s that time of year again. We’re days away from the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. All eyes will be on this gathering of the world’s biotechnology start-ups, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and health insurers. And it means that what company leaders say and the stories they tell media and investors,...
What's Next for 21st Century Cures Act?
December 8, 2016
The 21st Century Cures Act has been long in the making. First passed by the House of Representatives as in July 2015 by an overwhelming vote of 344 – 77, the bill hit the legislative wall in the Senate where, despite rumors of advancement over many months, it stayed put until after the election. Then,...
The Best of Cannes Lions Health: Smart Ideas, Well-Executed
June 20, 2016
The sheer volume of inspiring and excellent work shared at this year’s Cannes Lions Health has been remarkable—from breathtakingly beautiful films to stunning works of art and fantastically creative social campaigns. As I watched the awards ceremony presentations, I had two realizations. First, as health communicators we often get weighed down by our largely conservative...
Cannes Lions Health: Empathy Is the Key to Life-Changing Creativity
June 18, 2016
Earlier today at Cannes Lions Health, Genentech (a FleishmanHillard client) shared the powerful findings of their Lung Cancer Project, a study which sought to identify and understand unconscious bias. They found that an astonishing three out of four people had negative perceptions about lung cancer, which likely contributes to the high percentage of people diagnosed...
Why Media Coverage of Medical Research is Making John Oliver Mad, and What PR Pros Could Do to Help
May 10, 2016
You’ve seen the headlines. They appeared on your Facebook feed, your Twitter handle and your local news. You probably overheard someone mention one on your way to work. Maybe you’ve even seen these: “Swaddling May Be Linked to SIDS, New Research Analysis Suggests” “Eating Moderate Amounts of Chocolate Could Benefit Mom and Baby” “Drinking a...
Is It Enough to Mean Well? The Importance of Empathy
March 3, 2016
A few weeks ago, I was helping to lead a client message training session for an amazing group of female philanthropists. These women are leading incredible global health initiatives, from addressing gender-based violence in Honduras and Trinidad to transforming sanitation in Vietnam and detecting and treating cervical cancer in India. As we were discussing their...
Considerations for a New FDA Commissioner
February 26, 2016
The Senate, in an 89-4 vote, confirmed Dr. Robert Califf as the new Commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees the regulation of about one-fourth of the U.S. economy. With several “Holds” put on the nomination by more than a few members, including Senators Manchin, Markey, Murkowski and Sanders the question was whether...
What a Difference a Year Makes: Three Observations from the JPM Healthcare Conference
January 25, 2016
Hotel room rates in San Francisco have resumed being just expensive, not uber-expensive. Union Square is crowded, not overflowing. Sports talk in bars and restaurants is more likely to be about real football – the Super Bowl, Monday morning quarterbacks, watching from the sidelines, dropping the ball – than borrowed football metaphors to describe business...
Five Things to Watch for at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference
January 12, 2016
San Francisco’s population is swelling, but the rising wave of people, much like the bay at high tide, will ebb. The flow of people into the city, specifically Union Square, is an effect of the 34th Annual J.P. Morgan (JPM) Healthcare Conference (JPM is a FleishmanHillard client), happening this week in San Francisco as it...
What Really Scares Me This Halloween
October 30, 2015
Halloween’s calling, and my heart’s in the right place—for a person living with Type 1 diabetes, that is. You see, despite my compliance to carb-counting and almost hourly blood tests, I’ve deep-rooted affection for this holiday of camp and kitsch and candy. But just like Cinderella (my all-time favorite princess-in-waiting if not Halloween costume), I...
Can Technology Bridge the Gap Between Knowing and Doing?
October 14, 2015
Chronic disease prevention isn’t sexy. Its core tenets induce eye rolls with their basic simplicity: “Eat better. Exercise more.” Ugh, how boring. Isn’t there some pill I can take to stave off a heart attack or cancer? A one-time shot to make me diabetes-proof? Healthcare providers and public health professionals have long struggled with how...
Speaking of Health – How the 21st Century Cures Act Impacts Healthcare Communications
July 10, 2015
The pace of change in healthcare is breathtaking. There are new ways to treat, new ways to research, new ways to pay for care, new ways to access care and new ways to communicate about it. Yet, in too many ways, the way we, as a nation, regulate remains a 20th century model plagued by...
Social Media at ASCO: Weekend in Review
June 1, 2015
Day 4 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago brings with it some weary attendees and followers. Hundreds of abstracts have been presented on a range of cancers and generated some large conversation volumes, both in McCormick Place and online. On Friday, we previewed three topics and trends we’re watching at the meeting....
Sweet Home Chicago: What We’ll Be Watching at ASCO
May 29, 2015
Chicago, get ready. You’re about to have a lot more doctors, business executives and journalists. Thousands of them are gathering in the Windy City for the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), one of the largest oncology meetings in the world. While the surge will be temporary, the research and insights shared by oncologists...
Are We Too Optimistic About Progress in Cancer?
April 29, 2015
A giddy smile has taken hold of the faces of many oncologists and cancer patients. They have good reason to grin, for three reasons: We could be on the way toward doing away with the cancer biopsy. Researchers reported that a “liquid biopsy” blood test that’s possible due to advanced genome sequencing can find tiny pieces of cancer DNA in...
The FH 2015 Social Health Survey: A Second Opinion From Dr. Digital
April 20, 2015
Melissa Solomon and Adam Silverstein contributed to this article. Survey finds over 50% of patients consult with Dr. Google or Facebook before or after a doctor’s visit Our Social Health survey of more than 500 people reveals some important patient behaviors. First, patients form an opinion about a treatment option before they step foot in...
The FleishmanHillard 2015 Social Health Survey
April 7, 2015
How people care for themselves and others using social and mobile media Which networks people use and how they use them differs greatly depending on age range as well as whether the person is looking for information about their own health or finding information as a caregiver to someone else. The charts below show the...
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year
January 16, 2015
It’s the most wonderful time of year. For healthcare, that is. This week in San Francisco, over 300 healthcare companies, both public and private, presented vision, business objectives, challenges and opportunities for 2015 at arguably the year’s largest meeting, the 33rd Annual J.P. Morgan (client) Healthcare Conference. Investors, media, healthcare professionals, even patient advocates swarmed...
Putting Ebola Into Context
October 17, 2014
Striking a delicate balance between communicating a healthcare threat and managing public perceptions “Rumours and panic are spreading faster than the virus,” said Dr Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organisation on Monday this week. In the same speech she called the Ebola outbreak “a crisis for international peace and security”. While the...
Lots Left Unanswered After FDA Social Guidance
July 15, 2014
For almost five years, the pharmaceutical industry has essentially held its collective breath waiting for guidelines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on how it should operate on social media and the Internet. Out of a public hearing held in 2009 with pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers, five pressing questions were posed by...
No Roar From Pharma at Cannes Lions Health
June 15, 2014
And the Grand Prix winner is…Well, turns out we’re going to have to wait until next year at least in the pharmaceutical category. The pharma jury at the inaugural Cannes Lions Health festival shocked the audience at the Palais des Festivals by opting not to award one, throwing down a challenge to clients and agencies...
Saving Lives Is a Creative Endeavour
June 15, 2014
What if mobile phones could detect cancer cells? Or an ultrasound was performed via television? How would these disruptive technologies impact healthcare models and how would communications adapt to help save lives? These were amongst some of the most provocative questions asked on day one at Lions Health. During a session entitled Creative Ideas and Innovators...
It's Pharma's Turn for a Little Sunshine — Get Sunscreen
June 12, 2014
Last April, as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) released information about individual physician payments from Medicare, there was a firestorm of media about the big bucks some doctors and medical specialties were raking in from the federal program. National and locals outlets piled on, some even posting multiple articles, and naming names of...
Curiosity, Creativity and Healthcare
June 12, 2014
Some might think that those of us who work in healthcare lack the creative instinct, that our analytical minds and the rules restricting marketing and communications in the industry squeeze out any room for real originality and inspiration. I disagree completely. When I was a kid my favorite topic in school was biology. I was...