Five things for pharma marketers to know: Wednesday, February 7, 2018

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Study: Employee wellness programs aren't working. Researchers tracked 3,300 employees who were given access to a workplace wellness program for a year. When compared to employees who did not have access, they found no real difference in health outcomes or costs, in part because workers who took advantage of the program tended to already be healthy. (Los Angeles Times)

The popular herbal supplement kratom is an opioid: FDA. “Kratom should not be used to treat medical conditions, nor should it be used as an alternative to prescription opioids,” Scott Gottlieb, the agency's commissioner, said in a statement. Proponents argue that kratom is a safe way to treat pain and transition addicts off opiods. (Stat)

Billionaire surgeon Patrick Soon-Shiong is buying the Los Angeles Times. Soon-Shiong amassed his $9 billion fortune by starting and selling biotech companies. The physician cuts a high-profile--he's advised both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on healthcare initiatives--but is a controversial figure in the medical community. He's been accused of using philanthropic money to fund his own businesses. (Fortune)

House passes bill to modify Obamacare nutrition rules. The Affordable Care Act menu-labeling rules, in which restaurant chains with more than 20 locations must post calorie information on their menus, is set to go into effect on May 7. However, under the new bill, restaurants can opt to provide mandated nutrition information on their websites instead of in-store menus. (The Weekly Standard)

Ashfield Healthcare has named Doug Burcin as president
. Burcin comes to the healthcare services provider from independent agency Klick Health, which he joined in 2016 as chief growth officer. (MM&M)
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