Jack O’Brien interviews Cameron Black, the first blind basketball commentator on TV, about an app designed to help all blind people experience the game. Lecia Bushak recaps the Biden administration’s recent move to establish a framework around using “march-in” rights to lower drug prices for the first time. Additionally, the controversy around Panera’s Charged Lemonade tops our Trends segment, along with dermatologists debunking a natural alternative to Botox and Netflix’s hit docuseries Bad Surgeon. Music by Sixième Son.

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Note: The MM+M Podcast uses speech-recognition software to generate transcripts, which may contain errors. Please use the transcript as a tool but check the corresponding audio before quoting the podcast.

Hey, it’s Marc…

Those sounds you’re hearing… 

The echo of a leather-wrapped ball bouncing on hardwood… The squeak of rubber soles on polished wood… climax in the “swish” through a nylon net, bank off the glass or rattle off an iron rim. 

Mix in the blare of the crowd…whistles…air horns … every game creates a magnificent cacophony all its own.

Cutting through the din is the play-by-play announcer, whose job is to describe every shot for the audience listening on the radio or watching on TV. 

Think of some of the great sportscasters – Marv Albert. Dick Vitale. Kevin Harlan. They give voice to the sights and sounds and become our eyes and ears.

But what if all the stimuli a commentator had to go on was of the non-visual variety? 

This week on the podcast, my colleague Jack O’Brien interviews Cameron Black, a sports journalist who recently became the first blind basketball commentator on TV. Earlier this year, Black used a system that combined haptic vibration with sound effects and a refreshable Braille dashboard to call a NY Knicks game in real time. 

His feat – which was a resounding success – may one day help all blind and visually impaired people experience the game the same way he did at various stadiums, through an app. 

But – as I’m sure you’ll agree after listening to Jack’s interview – what transcends the technology is Black’s own passion and enthusiasm for sports – and for pioneering new, accessible opportunities for his community. 

And Lecia’s here with a health policy update.

Hey Marc, today I’ll talk about the Biden administration’s move last week to establish a framework around using “march-in” rights to lower drug prices for the first time – and what that would look like.

And Jack, what three things are trending in healthcare this week?

This week, we’re talking about the ongoing controversy around Panera’s Charged Lemonade, Lecia delves into whether a viral flaxseed mask is a natural alternative to Botox and we unpack Netflix’s hit docuseries Bad Surgeon.

Welcome

to the show Cameron. Really appreciate you being on. I appreciate you having me Jack absolutely for those in our audience who may not know you and your story. You want to give a little background for our audience to get a better understanding of who you are.

Yeah. Sure. I try to Ramble On too much light Jack said, my name is Cameron black. I am based out of Kansas City Missouri. I was actually born in Norman Oklahoma live there for 16 years and then I’ve lived in Missouri ever since so going on 20 years. I’m 35 and I am completely blind. I’ve been completely blind for my entire life and for about the last six or seven years since I moved to Kansas City. I have become a huge sports fan huge fan of football a huge fan of baseball and basketball and that has caused me to take an interest in maybe doing radio work or sports broadcasting and trying to make a living out of that and that that interest and that passion has driven.

Need to to kind of where I am right now and doing the interview on this podcast this morning.

That’s awesome. I really appreciate you giving the background. So our audience gets a better understanding of who you are. I really wanted to focus you talk about obviously the interest in sports and I did promise before we started this interview that we’d have a question for the Chiefs for about the Chiefs later. So we’ll Circle back to that but talk to us about your work with Michelob Ultra. That’s how you first came to my attention. I think that’s probably the primary interest for our audience is how that all came together.

Yes, sir. So that got started about a year ago about a year ago in September. Well, I mean that that’s when I first had contact with Michelob, but I guess you could say that honestly, it kind of started several years ago when I really got into football and I I was doing some stuff locally like I had been on a couple of radio shows just here in Kansas City. I wrote a Blog that I just wrote for like football and baseball basically just to get people talking about it and then to start

pot a little bit stir up conversation

and

not long after that. I was featured on the NFL Network.

I was elected to be the Blue Cross Blue Shield Chief’s Kingdom champion. This was back in 2018, and I got to throw out the ceremonial first passage cheese game.

And I got to meet and shake hands with Patrick Mahomes and he signed a ball for me and the NFL Network came to my place and did a whole feature on me. And I believe that was how Michelob Ultra heard about me through the feature that the NFL Network did on me and also through my own writings and articles and pieces that I had written about football and about baseball and so forth. Anyway, they contacted me back in September of last year.

And they said that they were working on developing a technology. Michelob was partnering with some some tech companies on developing a technology. Would that would help immerse blind people more in the World of Sports specifically basketball.

And the reason at least when I spoke to them, the reason that basketball was chosen is that in my opinion out of the three major sports football baseball basketball.

Basketball is one of the most difficult sports for a blind person to follow because it is the fastest moving of those three Sports it is it’s always moving constant fluid movement. You know, I always tell people football.

Kind of Moves In in jerks almost there’ll be a lot of movement followed by no movement and then a lot of people feel like in baseball. They never start moving.

I personally love baseball. That’s another conversation for another time. So they wanted to start with basketball and they basically hired me as what they called a consultant. They wanted my feedback and my input.

On what would make the game more accessible for a blind person? And what do I as a blind person feel that? I am missing out on what do I as a blind person feel that? Maybe I have a hard time understanding or a hard time visualizing and how could auditory input?

And even actual input or haptics as they called it be used to accentuate those areas that I feel like I’m missing out on.

So I worked with them on that for several months and they documented they made a documentary of the entire process from coming to my home in Kansas City here where I’m sitting now and introducing me to the technology.

That they were developing.

All the way to using it and teaching me how to use it.

And me commentating a lot basketball game during the playoffs. So that is

That is kind of how I got connected with them. And that is the short version of what what we were trying to accomplish in the last year or so,

and I obviously want to get to talking about actually contain the basketball game but digging in a little bit into actually kind of tweaking how the technology worked. What was that process like in terms of evolution because I’m sure it wasn’t the first time they just presented it with you. It was fine tuned and ready to go. I’m sure there were tweaks that need to be made along the way what was that process like in terms of saying this is how it would help me to be able to perceive the game and like you said, it’s so fast moving. There’s so many different changes and stuff. The technology has got to be able to keep Pace with that too.

It does and there was a lot there was a lot of conversations like before I saw any technology at all. I would just have phone meetings with the tech team gentleman that I spoke to the most his name was Will and he was just fantastic. Just very very willing to listen to what I had to say and seemed to really value my input. He was great to work with and they they started by talking to me about this.

This suit they were developing. It’s not quite a suit, but it’s pretty close. They took I believe they took a vest and some pieces that go on your arms and on your hands on your feet, and I believe that they were originally meant for virtual reality.

And will and his team sort of reprogrammed them.

And we talked about the different things in basketball that I would need to know was happening like when a shot was a two pointer or when a shot was a three pointer or when there was a foul or something of that nature. So they programmed that the haptic suit the haptics vest is what they called it. They would program the haptics Fest.

And it vibrated in different ways according to whatever was going on in the game. There was just a general like two point shot the entire vest and the things on my arms and my feet would vibrate twice if there was a three-point shot. It would vibrate three times if it was like a really special.

Three-point shot like a really good looking shot. Then there would be a trip weekend. We call it a triple Ripple and it was a ripple vibration feeling that went up and down the vest and it did that three times. So that’s that’s what we did with the vest. So the haptics were able to help me understand what was going on in the game as far as that’s concerned and then we developed sound effects and we had when I brought when I did the play by play for the game, we had speakers set up that were giving me different sound effects and I had studied those sound effects leading up to the broadcast. So I knew what each sound meant and we had we had sounds for made shots. We had sounds for Miss shots. We had sounds for fouls we had sounds for turnovers. So I I got to know those and got to understand what they meant. And then finally the third piece and probably one of the most important pieces.

That we had a refreshable braille display and it was hooked up to a computer via Bluetooth.

And the computer was on one of those websites that anybody can access where it provides you with live feedback from what’s going on in the game. Like what the players are doing. What players making what shot where the player was when he made that shot. How much time is left in the game What’s the score and then stats like rebounds assists points in the paint things like that.

so that was incredibly useful to me because

that gave context

To the feelings. I was having through the haptics and the noises I was hearing through the speakers. I then knew like through the haptics and through the speakers. I knew when shots were made. I knew when three pointers were made. I knew when lay-ups were made. I knew when fouls were made but I didn’t know who was making them and who was doing all that without the Braille display. So the Braille display provided me with all that context that I needed to have the

full information of what was going on in the game. It’s so interesting to hear you talk about this kind of multifaceted technological approach where you have all these different pieces interfacing with each other. So you have the the clearest sense of what’s going on with the game as it relates to the game itself and I have to give a small shout out here that it’s my beloved New York Knicks that you got to commentate the game for what was that? Like was it kind of learning curve as the game went on that? You got more comfortable with it, or was it from tip off? You were like, no, I have this and we’re rocking and rolling.

You know, I think he was actually more the latter. I was incredibly nervous leading up to it.

And I had become an expand myself because of this experience. I’m not a New Yorker but because of this experience I’ve absolutely become a Knicks fan and during the process of shooting the documentary and I this may make you jealous or not. Maybe you’ve gotten to do it. I got to walk out onto the court and dribble a ball and play a little one-on-one with a friend of mine at Madison Square Garden.

There

was nobody there but it was it was absolutely incredible before the broadcast started. I was extremely nervous. I’ve never done anything like that before. I’ve I’ve done I’ve done radio interviews and I’ve done television interviews and I’ve done things like what I’m doing right now, but I had never in my life than anything like broadcasting a live sports game before so I was incredibly nervous.

but we had practiced so much and

I’ve listened to so much radio myself. I I listened to all my sports over the radio and my favorite broadcasters are just kind of the ones who let loose and they get really excited and you can tell that they are really enjoying what they’re doing. They’re very enthusiastic. They’re very passionate. I am extremely fortunate that the broadcasters for the teams and I’m a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and my college team the Oklahoma Sooners both of those broadcasters both those play by play gentleman artist extremely enthusiastic and very passionate about what they’re doing. So I just kind of I just kind of channel that and I was incredibly nervous but as soon as they rolled the cameras and as soon as like you said as soon as tip off happened, I was just calling plays. I was reading my Braille display. I was paying attention to the vibrations. I was getting through the haptics. I was paying attention to the sound effects and the speakers around me.

and I was basically just reporting it to an audience and telling them what was going on, but I was doing it as enthusiastically and with as much energy as I possibly could and

as soon as it started, I would just have a fun. I I wasn’t really even thinking about the cameras or all the people there. I was just having fun.

I am live in Michelob Ultra Studios about three games.

Taken you through tonight’s action and RJ Barrett slaves it home.

Baby, Garland commissioned traveling turnover, however, another turnover or with a bad pass top and alley oops a duck. I’ve got a double Ripple on that one slams at home. And

that’s the thing that matters most like you said anytime that there’s an announcer that you can feel their passionate it only heightens it for you as a fan. I’m sure that that came through for people that were listening to you commentate obviously always happy to have another NYX fan in the fold. Sometimes they can feel few and far between given their history. I wanted to talk about the response or the reception that you’ve gotten since you commentated that game I can imagine it’s very meaningful for the blind or the the heart of seeing population to be able to have somebody like yourself doing something that may even you know years or decades ago seemed impossible or difficult to do what is the response man or what is the feedback that you received?

It has been overwhelmingly positive and

It means it means the world to me. It really does. I can’t even begin to express it from and it really started from the moment that that game ended when that Knicks game was over.

And I I read off a bunch of stats from the game. And then I I said I said, this is Cameron black at the Michelob Ultra Studios signing off. And as soon as that happened there was just this huge Applause and people were coming up to me and hugging me and shaking my hand and

Just made me feel really really good. And then since then since the documentary has been released the first few days, it was released. I my phone just I had to put my phone on vibrate because it wouldn’t stop going off. I was getting Facebook messages and I was getting text messages and I was getting emails.

just from people who just said that how much that they watched the documentary and how much they loved it how much they meant to him and it was

It was blind people. It was sighted people. It was it was anyone and everyone and it just

the amount of time to me and

I don’t think that I realized the impact this was going to have even when I was doing it. It’s like I said, I’ve

I’ve done things similar not to this large of a scope but similar and after it happens, you know, there’s always that 15 minutes of fame the people talk about it happens and for a few days after it happens. I’ll get some congratulations and I’ll get some nice messages and some nice emails and then it kind of dies down and then it’s it’s for lack and then for all intents and purposes it’s kind of over with

this has not died down and I did it back in April the documentary itself just came out a couple of weeks ago then I’m still hearing about it and

That just makes me feel really really good because that was the point the point was to reach out and touch.

Everyone but to specifically I was aiming towards blind people and not not to exclude sighted people I of course want them to be touched by it as well. Absolutely I do.

But my message to blind people and the people with visual impairments.

Was basically that you just need to you just need to follow your passion and you need to put yourself out there because you just never know what will happen with that. I am sitting here on this interview with you because I got into sports and then I wanted an Avenue to talk about it. So I started a Blog and that blog gained the attention of the Kansas City Newspapers, which gained the attention of the NFL and it just kind of it was just kind of a domino effect from there, but it really started with me just following my passion and that’s what I want other blind people to do is is your life is not over just because you’re blind and you need to continue to put yourself out there and to do what it is you want to do because you just never know what what might come from that now it’s all right. That’s why that’s why we

record so we can take care of that but it’s it’s such an important message that you bring there obviously for the

Community to be able to be a prominent figure for them and give inspiration to them to be able to follow their passion and you know be able to accomplish what they set out to do I’m curious from your own perspective if whether you think that obviously this isn’t like a one-off it seems like this is a technology and opportunities that could be afforded to other people across various Sports. I can see this easily translating over into football baseball. You name it? What are your expectations for? You know this type of work going forward.

My hopes for the technology are extremely high. I I know that they have already implemented it at Madison Square Garden, at least I believe they have the talk was that they were using the technology that they tested out on me and they were kind of pairing it down and developing an app.

And it was my understanding and I could be saying this incorrectly because I have not been super involved in the development of the app itself. So forgive me if I if I miss quote something but it is my understanding that the app.

You can.

You when you go into Madison Square Garden that I’ve been told that it’s going to be throughout 26 of the 30 NBA teams before this is all said and done right now. It’s in Madison Square Garden when you go into MSG, you can log on to an app or a website in there.

And if you are a blind or visually impaired user it will give you the haptic feedback. So like your phone will vibrate according to what’s going on in the game. But then there is also an audio descriptive component to it and they have used my voice for that. So if you go in famous G and you are blind or visually impaired or you just want to experience the game that way you can log on to it. I wish I had all the information and I currently don’t and I think it’s called The Legacy. I think that’s what they ended up calling it, but you can log on to it and it will give you the the haptics feedback and it will also have my voice my AI voice anyway and giving you the audio description of the game that I’ve been told is supposed to spread throughout the 26 MBA teams that make love Ultra sponsors. So that is very much. What I’m hoping is gonna happen then if that is successful, which I have no reason to believe it wouldn’t be they have not told me.

They have intention of spreading it to other sports, but I I can’t see why they wouldn’t and I really hope I hope as a sports fan that they would as for myself.

If I could make a career out of something like this, that would be a dream come true for me. I I love being on the radio. I love doing things like what we’re doing right now. I love sports. So I’m hoping that this might also afford some career opportunities for myself, but obviously my first concern my first hope is that it spreads throughout basketball, it spreads throughout Sports and it gives the Blind and the visually impaired Community the same opportunities that I myself have

now absolutely and the fact that you know, your voice will continue to reverberate beyond that game and and through the app and through this technology that various State into very exciting. Like I said the star this interview, I did promise that we would have a little Kansas City Chiefs talk and I know this interview will be airing later but at the time of the recording it is the morning of the big Monday Night Football game between the Eagles and the Chiefs. Obviously you’re coming to us from Kansas City. I’ll ask you your thoughts about where the Chiefs stand right here about

Halfway through the season and then you know if there is an expectation that maybe a back-to-back Championship

can be in the works. I mean, I think I think the Chiefs are doing well. There’s there’s obviously a bit of a struggle because I think I think that she’s greatest struggle right now is that the wide receiver position? Obviously, we don’t have Tyree kill anymore. We lost some guys and free agency and I am not I am not putting down the wide receivers that we have now like they’re they’re a good Bunch. They’re a good group. But it is it is it is tough losing a couple of guys that we have.

And that we had lost in free agency and losing Tyree kill.

But they do seem they do seem to be to be finding their identity. It was a little bit tough at the beginning of the Season. We lost a heartbreaker to the Lions here at home to start the season. That is not what any Chiefs fan was expecting.

And then a few weeks ago. We lost a heartbreaker to the Broncos and broke a 16 game winning streak against them.

Having said that I still feel.

Pretty good about where the Chiefs are. I mean, obviously if you’ve got Patrick Mahomes Patrick Mahomes on his worst day is still better than a lot of the quarterbacks in the league.

So you feel pretty good about Patrick Mahomes. I feel good about the defense, which is not a sentence that I’m used to saying with the Chiefs. It’s not a stellar defense, but I definitely see Improvement on it every week. I think that tonight’s game is going to be difficult. I think the eagles look really really good. I think the Eagles are probably understandably so a little upset because they feel like they probably should have won last year’s Super Bowl.

And I’m not even sure I’ve disagree with that to be honest with you. So I feel like this it feels a little bit like a Revenge game for them a little bit.

But I think the Chiefs will be will be equally motivated because it’s gonna be the type of game where they need to.

They they need they need to show they really are they need to show that they can stand up to a team like the eagles that is doing as well as they are. So it’s it’s gonna be a good game. I’m excited for it. I’m looking forward to it.

Um, I will pick the Chiefs to win because they’re my Chiefs. But it but if they win, I think

it’s gonna be by a narrow margin.

Absolutely and you talk about obviously the defense rounding and deform for the Chiefs, which is not been the case the past couple years has been primarily offensive driven. But also we’ve seen you know, the Ravens have had a number of injuries. The bills have not been the bills of the past Joe Burrows after the season so the path through the AFC, you know, who knows what it looks like but it seems like it’s a little easier than in years past for the Chiefs.

I agree. I think that she’s and I just I just heard the other day and you know, you never like hearing this even if it’s even if it benefits your team, you never like hearing about a guy being injured. I I don’t ever celebrate an injury never ever and I did get a notification the other day that Joe burrow Cincinnati is out for the season.

And I hate that for Joe and I I wish him absolutely nothing but the best in a speedy well recovery, I I will say that that of course to your point that does make things a little bit easier for the Chiefs Cincinnati has lost their quarterback. The Ravens are having issues. The bills are having issues. So

the Chiefs they have their struggles, but

I I agree with you. I think the road to the ASC has kind of panned out a little bit in their favor and if they if they continue to play like we saw in Germany and when they play it against the Dolphins and a couple of other games this year. I think I definitely don’t think they are out of contention at all. I think they can definitely end up.

Going back to a Super Bowl. If not, even repeating a championship.

Absolutely and and having seen that in my own Lifetime with the Patriots of 04 and of 2003 and 2004. I think the Patrick Mullins probably gives you the best chance so it’ll be interesting to see obviously by the time this air is our audience will know one how that Monday Night Football game panned out. But also where things stand as the playoff hunt intensifies camera. I’ve really enjoyed you being on the show here talking about your own experience and this opportunity with nickelode which again, we’ll have Ripple effects down the line. Is there any parting message you want to send to our audience of medical marketers in terms of your own experience or anything you want them to know?

You know, I I don’t I don’t know a whole lot about things from the medical side. So I’m not really sure if I do or not as far as as far as that is concerned, but I guess if I want to if I want to say anything, it’s just I’ll just repeat myself, which is that I’ve known a lot of blind people in my life Jack. I’ve known a lot of blind people and visually impaired people it is very very

easy to slip into a mode of stagnation and a motive complacency and

and just kind of just kind of going about your day and letting others take care of you and I’m not I’m not wagging my finger at anyone who does that. I’m really not. I understand that I really do but it’s

It’s really important to not do that. It’s really important that if you’re blind if you’re visually impaired or even if you have any other disability, obviously I the blindness is a personal thing for me. But any other disability this can apply to your life is not over.

That your life does not have to consist of you just being at home and and not living into the fullest. You can still follow your passions and you can still live your life to the absolute fullest and go out and do what you want to do then put yourself out there and you just never never know.

What will come of that and if blind people and visually impaired people or people with any sort of a disability take anything from what I’ve done. I

want them to take that again. I really appreciate you being on the show here, and and now only giving us your time, but your insights on this entire experience and certainly wish you the best going forward and you’ll be interesting to see how this technology continues to roll out across not only sports, but the broader society as well. So thank you again Cameron for coming on. We really appreciate it. You’re so welcome Jack. Thanks for having me.

I appreciate

my name signing up.

Health policy update with Lecia Bushak.

The U.S. has long considered something known as “march-in rights,” or the ability of the federal government to seize the patents of costly drugs if they were developed with federal funding – all in the aim of lowering drug prices.

Until now, “march-in rights” have never been used. But last week, the Biden administration announced it would develop guidelines around using “march-in rights.”

Technically speaking, the government has had this power for decades, but it has never used it on drug manufacturers. 

Under the Bayh-Dole Act of 1980, the government has the right to “march in” and dictate the patents of products that are developed in public-private partnerships, such as drugs developed in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, if they’re too expensive.

The federal agency funding the research for that drug could then license the product to another company that could make it available at a more reasonable price.

In an announcement last week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology rolled out its draft guidance framework for march-in rights, its goal being to assist federal agencies in deciding how and when they should exercise the rights.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement that QUOTE “March-in authority is one powerful tool to ensure that the American taxpayer is getting a fair return on their investment in research and development. Today’s call for comments is an opportunity to better understand how march-in authorities can impact price and better promote equitable access to prescription drugs.”

March-in rights, however, have long been considered a controversial option for drug pricing regulation.

Industry groups voiced their opposition to the Biden administration’s plan. Neil Bradley with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement that the organization would use every tool at its disposal to “stop the administration from destroying America’s ability to discover the next breakthrough treatment or cure.”

“Let’s be clear, seizing patents is a confiscation of property,” Bradley said. “If patents for medicine are seized today, what property will the government seize tomorrow?”

The Biden administration said it will provide a 60-day commenting period in which industry and the general public can offer their thoughts on the draft guidance before finalizing the policy. I’m Lecia Bushak, Senior Reporter at MM+M.

And is the part of the broadcast and we welcome Jack O’Brien tell us what’s trending on Healthcare social media. Hey Jack.

Hey Marc,

Last week, Carolina Panthers tight end Hayden Hurst said he was diagnosed with post traumatic amnesia by an independent neurologist as a result of the hit he took in a game last month and actor Jeremy Renner was spotted at JFK wearing a leg compression device amid his arduous road to recovery from the snowplow accident that left him with 30 shattered bones.

However, we begin today by revisiting the case of Panera’s Charged Lemonade.

Some may recall from our last episode of October that we discussed the wrongful death lawsuit against the fast-casual restaurant chain alleging that a 21-year-old with a heart condition died after consuming a Charged Lemonade, a heavily caffeinated energy drink that she may have believed was regular lemonade.

Now, Panera is the subject of a second wrongful death lawsuit regarding its energy drink.

Late last week, the family of Dennis Brown, a 46-year-old Florida man who passed away in October after consuming three servings of the drink.

The suit alleges that Brown suffered a “cardiac event” while walking home from a Panera location in Fleming Island in early October and that the company “knew of should have known” that the drink could pose significant risks to certain customers, including those that are sensitive to caffeine.

As Lecia brought up in our previous conversation, a regular size of one of these lemonades contains around 260 milligrams of caffeine, which is the equivalent to about four shots of espresso.

The second lawsuit has not only resurrected public attention to the controversies around Charged Lemonade, it has also sprouted hundreds of thousands of memes.

Social media users have posted a sizable amount of memes and jokes about “the lemonade that kills you,” often in a darkly comedic or overly sarcastic tone about everything from geopolitics to diet to what it would do to the body of a sickly Victorian child. 

One tweet stuck out to me: “Y’all when the COVID vaccine came out: ‘I gotta do my own research.’ Y’all when Panera releases a killer lemonade:” and it’s a clip of a guy chugging the drink.

Important to note, all of this comes as Panera eyes an IPO, having filed to go public confidentially last week.

less I want to bring you into the conversation because whether it’s Instagram X formally known as Twitter you name it. I’ve go on social media and whether it’s a serious account or just some guy everyone’s talking about this thing.

Yeah, you know, I would have assumed that Panera would have either take in the product off of their menu entirely the last time someone died from it or they would have put some serious warning labels in place, but it appears they did not do either of those things because you know, unfortunately someone else drink way too much of this product. I guess this person had a mild intellectual disability according to NBC News and he also had high blood pressure. So he generally avoided energy drinks. So clearly he probably wasn’t aware of the caffeine amount in this product as we mentioned. The last time Panera was kind of marketing this charge lemonade as being clean and plant-based as sort of like a refreshing almost like a juice kind of thing. That was sort of what I got.

When I would look at it on its website it was unclear to me even that it was actually a caffeinated drink and since the first person died, they did change their website to add some disclaimers. They said that the charge lemonade is quote naturally flavored plant-based with about as much caffeine as our dark roast coffee. It urged customers to use it in moderation and said that it’s not recommended for children people sensitive to caffeine pregnant or nursing women, but apparently even with these disclaimers on the website people are still unaware of you know, some of the dangers associated with it and maybe that those disclaimers aren’t clear what people are in the actual store or like I don’t know, you know what the stores are saying about this so clearly it’s still being marketed in a misleading way,

but it’s also on those things too that like you can put all this flavors on your website like and anecdotally speaking. I when I’m walking the streets of New York, or I see people on the Subway or something. I see a lot of people

Will still buy in this thing and I almost wonder if there’s this kind of morbid interest that people have or they’re like, oh it’s the quote lemonade that kills you or it’s got all this caffeine or something. I gotta try it Mark. I want to bring you in here because obviously there is an unintended side effect. I imagined to all this where it’s like

There is the fear related to you know, it potentially causing the deaths of two people and then consumers are like, well, I kind of want to try it now. I want the pipes all about

that more big curiosity, right?

Yeah,

or like, you know, the after effects of erectile dysfunction drugs, you know, exactly might last for you know, 48 hours. Oh, well, you know, maybe we should try that.

Yeah,

but not to mix metaphors there. But you know that the fact that they’re marketing off of this and they could potentially profit from that is, you know, pretty warped kind of reminds me like sort of in a microcosm of kind of like debate the debate the FDA faces when a marketer proposes to take a drug from RX to OTC, you know, you have to foresee how you know, the range of consumers that might take this off the shelf and you know, when you take Physicians advice out of the equation, you know, what are the dangers that could happen? And you know, we’re seeing that kind of play at a real time, you know the guy and

Most recent suit here drank three of these beverages totaling a whopping 780 milligrams. Whereas the Mayo Clinic says that on average 400 milligrams of caffeine per day is safe for adults and in October the earlier case you mentioned that was a 21 year old with a heart condition who died after consuming just one of these heavily caffeinated drinks after believing it was regular lemonade. So there’s you know, sort of a couple of examples of you know, unforeseen consequences of people taking this, you know unawares and I’m just kind of wondering out loud how much longer can this go on before Regulators take a closer look kind of Chuck Schumer. The senator had called on the FDA to investigate Logan Paul’s energy drink, which the three of us it’s spoken about back in October so they could be getting a phone call and it is one of those things too where it’s like the first time

it happens and it’s like, oh is this just an outlier like we talked about in the show because obviously made headlines but like was that just a freak case in terms of you know, wrong place wrong time, then you see this and just

Clearly the meme economy is still going well because again, it’s everywhere and it has gotten so many when I was doing research before throwing this in the show, like, you know slate has a whole think piece that they put on it. I know that the times is cover it like it’s gotten so much mainstream coverage that you do. Wonder if it does, you know be get some sort of action whether on the Congressional level or on the regulatory level to stepping in here, but for the time being it’s still available and Panera is still charging ahead bread bowls in hand for an IPO. So I guess we’ll see what comes

with that.

And what’s the drink that’s actually called like red death or something Red Death something with death in the title liquid death liquid. Definitely. Yeah, right so they got nothing on these guys now

exactly and they actually they this is apropos nothing but they they had their own Arnold Palmer knockoff if they had used that played on the name and the Palmer state had said that they would sue them if they didn’t change names so they changed it to dead billionaire.

And So, that’s its own. That’s its own the separate from Medical Market. That’s its own marketing.

It’s a whole genre of exactly into.

Flaxseed is making the rounds as the next big health trend on the app and dermatologists have taken notice of the supposed skincare fix.

It all started with a video from TikTok creator Victoria Benitez in which she claims flaxseed — a seed that’s associated with good digestive health, given that it’s high in fiber — mixed in water can be used as an alternative to Botox. 

Benitez’s video has gathered more than 6 million views since she posted it in mid-November, sparking a craze around flaxseed masks as an alternative to Botox.

“You see this right here? This is Botox, this is Botox that you make at home,” Benitez says in the video. “The best part? It’s two ingredients: flaxseeds and water.”

@victoria__benitez

God i love this mask #flaxseedgel #flaxseed #health #natural #skincare

♬ original sound – victoria__benitez

She goes on to tout the “endless” benefits of flaxseeds — from being a natural shampoo to an at-home soap, to being used to bake bread and as a good digestive tool. She claims it’s anti-inflammatory and the fatty acids are good for your skin.

Since then, thousands of others have jumped on the trend, with videos showcasing the step-by-step process of making the face masks at home. But based on the majority of dermatologists’ responses, it’s safe to say that flaxseed masks won’t do much for your skin.

Dr. Scott Walter, or @denverskindoc, is one of the lead dermatologists on the platform who has posted commentary on the matter. In a reaction video, he pointed out that, essentially, all a flaxseed mask is doing is creating a glue that tightens your skin.

“So yes, it can temporarily tighten as the mask dries,” Walter said. “But is it going to give you any long-lasting effects on your wrinkles? No.”

Flaxseed CAN be healthy if included in your diet, though. It’s often used to ease digestive issues or constipation and also has benefits for your overall cardiovascular health, as it can assist in reducing total blood cholesterol and bad cholesterol.

Many nutritionists recommend adding ground flaxseed into breakfast cereals, yogurt or even baking it into desserts. Generally speaking, experts suggest sticking to using flaxseed in baked goods rather than as a skincare hack.

So, you know, we’ve obviously talked about you know, the flavor of the week on tiktok when it comes to some of these Health Trends and and Skin Care is a huge one, but it is mind-blowing to see how many viral videos with like literally millions of views that are around flaxseed masks and people really believe that it’s good for your skin, but

The experts are saying it’s not

it reminds me. When you we were talking on the show a few months ago about the taping where people were taping their skin and like going to bed or something and you had brought up one of the doctors that was on the Apple basically said like yeah, it’ll do it like short term, but this is a long term.

Yeah, and

this is the same thing with the flaxseed thing. It’s like, yeah, it’ll tighten it up. Like I assume for a couple hours or something. But if you’re looking for the long lasting effects that people go for Botox treatments, this is not it and I appreciate you including there. It’s like flaxseed does have a purpose. It’s like if you’re eating it has a digestive purpose like the idea of like this person saying, you know, this is Botox. It’s like it’s not oh talks is its own thing Botox that’s its own separate chemicals and its own purpose and you know, they’re does this work in some sort of like temporary way I suppose but like it’s also misleading to go out there and and say that on the app and get six million views saying it

absolutely

so

right. I mean all their profiting from having these millions of views on their videos, but you

Jack I’m glad you brought up the earlier hacks that we’ve seen and I’m always like you waiting for that cringe line. Like, you know where we saw like the Shaving down teeth, you know, these things that can really have a really harm people. This does seems to be harmless other than the fact that it’s you know, wasting a lot of people’s time but, you know taking a step back which comes reading some of the news stories written about the rise of dermatologists who are now kind of jumping on a lot of these routines and Skin Care hacks and debunking them. And you know, if we think about how tiktok kind of rose to prominence it really Rose to prominence through these viral dance challenges and now we’re seeing more of these, you know, skin hacks, you know becoming more and more common and it was like the people that are you know doing this for a living obviously, they have kind of an edge because they’re testing products. They’re trying stuff out more so than the typical dermatologist probably is kind of

kind of, you know, trying to stay up to speed on actual conditions and you know FDA approved products, you know for you know, comments skin conditions, so they’re at a disadvantage but

And you know, but these these people on tiktok, you know that the way they espouse these approaches they do it with such Authority. You know that it seems like they’re they’re back by scientific credible evidence when they’re really not so it’s good to see again that this was a situation where the Dermatology Community kind of jumped on it and debunked it hopefully before you know, any kind of real damage could have been done

and it does seem like one of those things like I know that we’ve talked a lot about acts Twitter whatever we want to call it and the challenge a lot of hcps have being there because it’s like how do you compete with misinformation in a place where it seems to not only flourish but be rewarded like the way that Twitter has allocated its creator fun. Like if you go out there and you say something wildly speculative or wrong, I think about to take an example from this week like the show heyotani free agency stuff. There was so much Incorrect and misreporting but people were getting their retweets getting their likes and whatever and they still get paid off of that. Imagine if you have the same thing with medical misinformation and

Your you have no Financial incentive to tell the truth to be more accurate to do whatever and I know that you know, Lesha you’ve talked about this too. We’re tiktok has been trying to figure out how they Wrangle that in on their platform. But it seems like you know, the more that these things happen. Yeah, if you get six million views, what is your inceptive to go back and be like, by

the way,

it’s not tax.

It’s nice. Like you know, there there is none of that or you do it later on. It doesn’t get the same Pub as the original lie does.

Yeah, like what’s what’s Twitter’s you know, when the community kind of intervenes the community notes Community notes, maybe we should

Be good to see something similar there.

Yeah

here to that

and I don’t even know if I assume if you did that on tiktoking, maybe it pops up in that would be like the pinned top comment or something, but I don’t know there just doesn’t seem to be that same. I know they they say that they’re trying

there’s no system in place at the moment aside from the fact that I think hcps are starting to realize they have to be more present on the site to offer that Counterpoint and we’re starting to see the little more we’re starting to see, you know, tiktok Physicians really starting to build brands for themselves and then do these reaction videos because you know, the the young people who are on the site, they’re not going to be searching on the Cleveland Clinic website about you know, just flaxseed work is skincare you really have to be on this on the platform itself to be able to counter some of that misinformation. I think hcps are starting to jump on that and we’ll probably see that grow more

right? They’re learning, you know from this from the so-called skin flow answers, but all the new trends are, you know, if nothing else

so well if we’re looking for.

Netflix is back with a show about a bad actor in healthcare.

In the three-part docuseries Bad Surgeon: Love Under the Knife, viewers are introduced to internationally-renowned surgeon Dr. Paolo Macchiarini and his revolutionary stem cell-infused windpipe transplants.

However, while the show initially portrays Macchiarini as a charismatic health innovator that drew comparisons to George Clooney, interviews with his colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and his former fiancee, an NBC News producer, cast a different light.

Without giving too much away in terms of spoilers, patients who were thought to have their breathing abilities fully restored are dead, while relationships and professional accomplishments are found to be fraudulent and Macchiarini is revealed to be one of the most prolific frauds in modern medicine.

I think that anyone who has been intrigued by the Elizabeth Holmes Saga in addition to all sorts of different fraud stories. They don’t have to necessarily be Health Care related would find this interesting. It’s a very quick watch I was able to do it well folding laundry. So if that gives you any sense and in terms of my process, but it was very interesting just in terms of Netflix, you know, talk about your financial intensive incentives. They love to go back to the liars and the crooks of the world and this guy was one of the top ones. I’ll tell you that.

Yeah, I think you know this idea of like the True Crime, you know, doc you series whether on podcasts or you know, television shows are definitely super popular. So it’s kind of interesting to see like the medical

I’m being kind of come into light here with this one. I didn’t get the chance to watch it. But I do remember hearing about this guy, you know in previous years and I looked him up and I guess this summer he was actually sentenced to a few years in prison for all of these charges that just happened like I think in June or July, so apparently he’ll be in prison for about two years which you know don’t know if that’s enough for whatever but that’s kind of where he has he is right. Now,

I would say you can watch the documentary and you can make your own judgment in terms of what his punishment is I think one thing that’s infuriating and Mark. I just want to get your thoughts bring you in here too is you know, he he was basically living a double life and not only in his professional sense, but also in his personal sense in his fiance the NBC News producer, there are so many times while I was watching I was like, you know, like you claim to be a journalist and X Y and Z here there was one part where she said that the pope was going to marry them and there was very little

At all in terms of like maybe I should fact check that more. She has looked up. It’s like, oh the pope does marry people. It’s like yeah, he marries people but like is he gonna marry you specifically in the Vatican? So yeah, there were a lot of infuring instances. But as as less she pointed out Netflix loves it’s it’s doci series if there’s a true crime angle doesn’t matter what the industry is. They’re gonna find it.

Absolutely and is a cautionary tale these things are out there, you know less than anyone, you know be taken in either by a fraudulent, you know, professional so-called or by, you know, significant other but you know, it reminds me a little bit for some reason of the Dr. Roxy case the Ohio plastic surgeon who live stream procedures on tiktok and it was subsequently banned from practicing medicine and her profession was was also very kind of slow to act on her actions kind of came to light as early as 2018, you know, there were concerns over, you know, possible ethics violations and and so forth. So these things take a while to percolate sometimes through and you hope that there won’t be any future cases like this where they’re actually deaths involved before their fraudulent Behavior with discovered

and kind of like the fairness thing too. It underscores the role that whistleblowers have in any industry, but especially in healthcare like they they High

In the documentary where they’re like this guy was not testing on animals before he was testing this out on humans. These weren’t like pure grade medical devices. It was like a little too of plastic that he was jamming in people’s throat. Like there were all these sorts of things. But you talk about this being an arduous process and you know, the threats of their professional careers for coming out and challenging somebody that again people were like, oh this is medicines George Clooney. He’s all over the world. He’s dead that question exactly. So it’s like that’s the role. It’s the same thing that they’re not ran into. How dare you question Elizabeth Holmes. How dare you question, you know any sort of fraudulent bad actor in the space. It’s it’s easier said than

done.

I have to you have to question you have to continually hold people to standards and you don’t have one set of stairs for one company or person and another for another, you know person or a company that’s just a good reminder of that. So, yeah, absolutely.

It’s interesting that the journalist actually met him the journalist that he she was engaged to him. She actually met him when she was doing a story on him. He was actually originally one of her sources and it’s just like funny and

Change that. She didn’t actually do any of that real investigating to you know, his his reputation and his actual track record.

Well and she talks about it too where she’s like was the whole point of him even like pursuing a romantic relationship with her because she could give him cover like when the story broke I think it was initially in 2014 that there were concerns about his work and deaths of patience and she was like, oh well, no, this is wrong and she’s putting her own credibility on the line for somebody that

As you watch in the documentary had a lot of lies of this disposal at a lot of a lot of untruths that he was

so he was using that as leverage

it seemed it seems like that. That was it. That was her working period

and Holmes’s case, you know, she fold some very prominent journalists. Yeah, even without that, you know, just through her ability to speak authoritatively. Yeah girls proper scientific evidence. We come full circle. Yeah journalism journalist and Statesman. I mean

you want to see out that well seeing it.

Absolutely. It’s two main ingredients.

Thanks for joining us on this week’s episode of the MM+M Podcast. Be sure to listen to next week’s episode when we’ll be joined by our final guest of 2023: Kathy Delaney, the global chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness.