“Definitively Speaking” host Justin Steinman offers some ground rules for health podcasters in an interview with Jack O’Brien. Lecia Bushak discusses President Biden’s executive order on AI in healthcare, which directs federal agencies to develop regulations that harness AI for good and could be a boon for life sciences. And the nurses of TikTok top our Trends segment, along with a scary FDA warning on eye drops and a rundown on Netflix’s Pain Hustlers movie.

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

The first rule of podcasting…don’t talk about the podcast.

But at the risk of appearing self-promotional, the always entertaining Justin Steinman, who hosts the very successful “Definitively Speaking” industry show, agreed to join us and offer his biggest do’s and don’ts.

His show is kind of like ours in that it’s a big tent for a lot of topics that are tangentially related to what his company does. In our case, it’s “healthcare marketing writ large.” 

In Definitive’s case – they’re a RWD company – so the show features “data-driven conversations on healthcare,” but he’s got guests from the digital therapeutics space to new startup technologies coming out, drug development, you name it.

In the interview, Jason talks everything from the importance of establishing a regular episode cadence to how he books guests and thinks about his audience. 

Many of us are doing what he calls “edutainment,” whether it’s a podcast, video series or some other form of B2B content. And whenever someone successful offers to break down their own creative process, it’s a lean-forward moment. 

So communicators of all stripes in healthcare marketing should find this interview informative. 

This week – housekeeping rules for health podcasters!

And Lecia’s here with a health policy update…

Hey Marc, today I’ll give a rundown of President Biden’s new executive order that aims to establish regulation around AI in healthcare.

And Jack, what’s trending in healthcare this week?

This week, we’re talking about the FDA’s warning about eye drops causing infections, the top nurses on TikTok and Netflix’s Pain Hustlers movie.

A Marcus editor at large

and welcome to the mmm podcast medical marketing media show about Healthcare marketing writ large.


pleased to be joined by recurring guest Chief marketing officer of definitive Healthcare. Justin Steinman Justin.

How are we doing today? Great. Thanks for having me back happy to be here happy to have you back. It’s kind of a meta episode

if you will because we’re obviously on the podcast we’re gonna be talking about podcasts. I wanted to start by talking about your podcast definitively speaking and kind of give me the lay of the land in terms of how it originated and what was the intended goal and that we can get to the specifics of actually launching it recording it all that sort of stuff. Sure

So definitively speaking. We’re about 40 episodes in right now and it’s been going on for about a year and a half and the impetus behind it was we wanted to establish some thought leadership in the healthcare market. So definitive Healthcare is in the business of helping people who want to sell in to Health Care understand winning compete in that market. And so if you want to do that, we need to raise our brand awareness. We also as everybody probably listening this podcast suffering the same thing.

Time we have a very limited marketing budget right now times are tight. And so our CFO scrutinizing every dollar and so we said we don’t have money for a big advertising campaign. So how can we generate some good thought leadership and really associate definitive Health Care with the idea of healthcare commercial intelligence helping you understand the health care market and thus the idea of the podcast was born but there are there are a couple ground rules and a couple sacred cows one of which is that we never ever ever ever ever promote definitive Healthcare on the podcast. The only thing you’ll ever hear me say is that it is sponsored by Divinity health care and I am the CMO definitive health care. That’s it. We don’t talk about our products. We don’t talk about what we can do. We’ve only had one customer on there and that was actually because we’re talking to someone in a different department from that customer was a big glamorate. And so the important reason is the moment people smell your podcast is promoting yourself.

Click bye-bye. So if all they ever get from this podcast about definitive Healthcare is hmm definitive Health Care data insight into the healthcare Market that was entertaining that’s like a huge win for us. That’s all we’re looking for out of it. It’s interesting to hear you talk about obviously the

ground rules that you have in place. So there is some sort of you know Fidelity to what you’re doing and some Integrity. I am kind of curious maybe how things have changed since I’m sure they’re best practices or things that you’ve tweaked along the way where you’re like we did this at the start but maybe this a little bit better for our audience better for the listening experience. Can you kind of clue us into what some of those may have been?

Yeah, so probably the biggest change was for figuring out who’s gonna be in the studio with me. And so we’re in the business of what I call edutainment, right? We want to educate you. We want entertain you a little bit and at the beginning we had a couple folks in the studio with me in addition to our guests and there was somebody from our product management team some are from our summer teams someone from our Professional Services team. And what happened was the conversations got two unwieldy.

Another one of the Sacred rules of definitively speaking is that it’s all about the guest and we really try to tailor the conversation. I spent a lot of time recruiting interesting people people who I’d like to have a beer with and learn from and really ask them in depth good questions. So they share their expertise. It’s never about us and I found by having these guests from inside definitive. It’s kind of my co-hosts. It just got two unwieldy and we couldn’t have good conversations and everybody had to comment on what the guest said and that didn’t make for a good listening experience. And so we streamline that out. I will occasionally now have one other person from DH join me, but it’s very rare. It’s really now all about bringing on the guest and what he has to say to the audience.

I’m sure that there are leaders in our audience who whether they’re at agencies or healthcare companies of any sort are probably looking at this and they’ve probably seen across the board with different organizations saying like we have a podcast we have a video series. We have some form of edutainment to your point, which is caught on the past couple years certainly since covid put everything online. Is there any sort of advice that you would pass along to them who are like I want to be able to start but I don’t even know where to begin. I even know where to get the best, you know recording equipment per se

so the recording equipment is not my area of

expertise. We have got ironically a Sound Studio happened to be in our offices when we moved in here during the pandemic and so I’ve got this lovely soundproof studio and a fantastically talented multimedia engineer sitting on the other side of the window that nobody here can see and he got all the technology. He’d done podcasts and internal training that previous companies. And so we hired him in-house. This is only one of his many jobs. So he handles all the technology piece of it.

Some of the most important advice I would give you though. If you’re going to start a podcast is you really got to be committed. How many podcasts are out there that have one two, three episodes, right? We have said that we drop every Thursday every other Thursday like clockwork every other Thursday. We drop usually in the mornings no later than noon. So people start to get that expectation that it’s always going to be there. The other thing that we have done is we book our guests weeks out. So we’re sitting here now at the beginning of September. I’ve got a committed schedule and guess I’m going to record that take me right now all the way through the end of November, so I’m not scrambling for content.

And worrying about oh my God, I gotta find somebody. Oh I had in my deadline. I’m gonna get a lower quality. Someone not as interesting just to fill a slot. No because we’re working so far ahead. We had this commit we had this regularity and then the final piece of advice that I would say is I at least an R podcast. It really is all about the guest. I personally recruit a lot of I guess I’m using my own personal Network. I don’t Outsource this. This isn’t like, you know, hey, who do you got? This is like people that I’ve collected from my 25 plus years of working in the healthcare industry. I’ve met a lot of Fascinating People on the way and thank God I saved their emails and so I’ve reached out and personally invited them recruited them. I always do a prep call with them or I always gonna say hey, what do you want to talk about? How can we make decisions? What’s your area of expertise? Let’s try to find something definitely interesting potentially controversial or mildly controversial where we’re gonna get people to want to listen and tune in and so those are some of the tips

Treks around how you can make it successful and I kind of wanted to pick up on that last point because you talk about maybe going into

areas that are more provocative in nature. And obviously you’ve had some episodes about AI like I think every Healthcare leader has had this year, but you’ve also talked about the nursing shortages and other areas of definitive obviously has your data and insights you’re able to pull from how do you when you go about the different topics? Is it like, okay we talked about AI so maybe we’ll revisit in a couple weeks or what what really speaks to what topics you’re going to go through on the show because I think that’s an important part of the thought leadership thing that maybe people don’t always have figured out.

It is and so we talk about this podcast. So what’s your core audience and I always say our audience is someone who has a Wall Street Journal working level knowledge of healthcare. You don’t need to be a clinician. You don’t need to be a hospital executive. You need to read the journal. You need to read the Times to understand what’s going on in the healthcare industry. We’re very much a business of Health Care podcast. Now the good news about a business of healthcare podcast is that it’s very broad. I happen to read a lot about healthcare industry nature of my job also my personal interest and so I’m always catching different Trends and different ideas. So how to care change as a result of covid. That was a big topic last year. I’m personally fascinated by all of the digital Therapeutics and the new technologies coming out. Well, thankfully there’s a lot of them so I kind of go and I find the cool ones and I get as high as I can at the organization presidency CEO Chief product officer bring them on to talk about what they are doing.

If we have done something around Staffing then we’re not going to go and do recruiting for the next one. I’m gonna punt that down the road for six months, but maybe we’ll go and do something around Hospital operations drug development. Lord knows that’s a Hot Topic and there’s so many different angles of it. That’s been a recurring theme. How do you optimize drug development? And then I try to think about different angles that I can get to so for example one I have no drug development was we had somebody from a surgeon from the University of Maryland Medical Center come on and talk about what he thinks surgeons are the best people to innovate and do drug development.

That’s kind of an interesting take right. You’re gonna listen to that go. What the heck is this guy talking about? And if that’s your reaction when you hear it, I scored I want you to say what the heck is this guy talking about because then you’re gonna tune in so we’re always trying to find interesting angles and skate across Healthcare so that you’re never getting the same things. I don’t want to be too narrowly dialed in a one segment of healthcare or the other. I know the mention of

drug development. Definitely Peak the interest of some in our audience who obviously come from the farm and biotech side. I do want to play devil’s advocate for a second because I’m sure there are leaders who say yeah, this all sounds great and they may listen to a lot of podcasts too. But they may also put together the argument that there’s an oversaturation of podcasts that we’ve already hit the peak and now it’s just people making podcasts and yeah, even if I have a great idea for one who’s gonna say that somebody’s actually gonna listen, what would you say to maybe some of the Skeptics or the doubters are in the audience saying yeah, even if I wanted to try it’s such a uphill battle to try and actually gain a sort of traction.

So I actually would say you’re right and I think it is oversaturated and I think if you’re gonna do something don’t just be another voice, you’ve got to come up with a unique angle that’s gonna add something to the conversation. You’ve got to be passionate about this. So our unique angle is that we take a data-driven look at Healthcare. And so I show up on every podcast armed with stats. I do a ton of research myself again, I don’t Outsource at anybody inside the company like I’m sitting there like in front of the internet like downloading reading research reports go into NIH, you know, using our own internal data our angle is it’s a data-driven conversation because there’s a lot of podcasts people just rubbing their stomachs and going I think this I think that

We’re never I think we’re like, hey, there are this many people with this disease it increased or decreased by X percent. What does that mean for someone trying to build a medical device in that market? That’s like a fact-focused conversation. The other thing is you got to find a host to really wants to do this. This is not for the faint of heart. You just wants to get on there as uncomfortable.

Tayo’s talk about the fact I was the Editor in Chief of my College Newspaper. I was either in Chief of my high school newspaper. I’m passionate about finding interesting people and talking to them. So for me, this isn’t even a labor of love. This is just like fun, I get to talk to really interesting people and I use this as a reason to talk to really interesting people and I think my passion and interest and the guests comes through and makes it entertaining and so that’s kind of that angle like my interest in other people combined with the day to have that conversation. That’s our unique thing. That’s what we’re trying to bring to the podcast Marketplace.

It’s interesting that you talk about your background as an interviewer of sorts with your newspaper background and obviously how that’s translated over into doing the podcast transitioning a little bit off of the podcast itself. I know a couple months ago and we talk to you we’re talking about, you know, the marketing challenges that you alluded to earlier. They’re facing a lot of healthcare organizations. Obviously you are in the sea Suite of

Of healthcare as it stands right now in the middle of September. What is your sense for where things are I think obviously inflation is calmed down a little bit but there’s obviously concerns about layoffs and whether or not it’s going to be a soft Landing from the recession whether there could be another uptick going into an election year. How does that all factor into? You know, the marketing leaders perspective?

Yeah. It’s a great question. And if I could really predict the economy, I would hang up the podcast you do right now and go to Vegas and then I’d retired to a small island. So everything that I’m going to say take with a grain of salt of one mildly informed person in a sea Suite my personal belief is that inflation is gonna start to settle down I think actually the restarting a school loans and repayment in October 1st is gonna suck a lot of money out of the economy and back into the federal government and as a result people’s budgets are gonna correct some down and then I think that’s gonna actually impact inflation in a positive way as an inflation’s going down. I think when the FED season going down,

I think they’re gonna stop raising rates six months from now. I think they’re probably gonna start decreasing rates. And I think that’s gonna open a lot of stuff up. I only can talk for what we are seeing. Our top of funnel is as strong as ever we continue to set all this new highs every month with the number of marketing qualified leads and free trials that we are bringing in where we are seeing challenges in our business is down funnel and we’re not losing more to the competition. We are getting a significant amount more of

I love this. My CFO is squeezing my budget call me in six months. I really want to buy so we’re seeing a lot of no decision or delayed decisions and that’s resulted in our elongating of our sales cycle.

But we’re starting to see shoots green shoots and certain segments of our business. And I know I’m personally optimistic that six months from now, we’re gonna start seeing something turn but from a marketing perspective, we’re doing a couple things I prioritized demand generation to keep in the top of that funnel filled because if you’re conversion rates at the bottom are shrinking you’ve got to put more into kind of get to the same bottom. I’m prioritizing stuff like thought leadership getting our brand out there not only through our podcasts but also through our own white papers and internal research that we’re going and putting out into the market and then we’re prioritizing our product marketing team really getting in there with our sales team and helping them figure out. What’s the value? How do we make a strong articulation of the value that we offer to customers? What are the three points that every single rep has to hit on every single phone call and so a lot of our product marketing team has actually turned into working on.

Grips with our sales team and then helping to train the sales team. So they really can convey that value. And so those are some of the things that we are trying to do as a marketing team to help our sales team do whatever they can to hit their number.

It’s intriguing to hear you talk about just how intertwined everything is at the organization where it’s not just oh we’re fending for ourselves as the marketing team. It feeds into what the sales team is doing in so many other aspects of the organization, I guess kind of still on the go forward if there’s any sort of advice that you would pass along to any, you know, Marketing Executives that are in our audience that again may be squeamish or may have their own concerns about the economy and how maybe they should be having these conversations with the people that do hold the purse strings and their organizations saying like no no like you have to you know, you have to be able to give us some sort of a budget to go out there and get the results that you want. So there’s a couple of things the most important thing

is to always align yourself with revenue and not only align yourself with your Revenue, but align your entire marketing organization or revenue and here we do it a couple of things my

Not bonus is tied to the cheapen of our chief Revenue officer hitting his number period full stop. If you’re a product marketing team and you’re assigned to a specific segment. Your bonus is tied to how that segment is doing and who they hit their number. So if there’s enter ever any question as to where you should be spending your days or what you should be doing your compensation where it hits you is tied to how the companies doing specifically how the sales organization is doing. So, that’s the first thing that aligns incentives and I’m glad you picked up on how intertwined we are with the sales organization because that’s endemic to what we do every day I wake up and think about how can I help the sales team hit their number that’s a tough job being in sales and it’s our job in marketing to help make those successful and the best way that I can do that is by a aligning our folks with them be helping them really articulate value and see understanding the metrics deeply and understanding the metrics deeply I can sit here right now. I won’t bore you at

I could sit here and tell you buy every channel marketing inside sales sells executive by each of our six different segments how many leaves we’ve generated this month? How many converted to demos how many favorite opportunities how many of them credit wins? What’s their ACV average contract size average contract value? Excuse me. I understand all that. I understand the impact of marketing I could tell you exactly how many wins in August came from a marketing qualified lead versus an outbound sales lead. Why is it all important? Because it enables me to go with our cro to our CFO and say hey, this is the value of marketing. This is what marketing did for the sales team. So, can you please give us some more money particularly the 2024 budget so we can continue to deliver this to the sales organization. You don’t just want to go. Hey, you know, I did a podcast and I think it had some impact but you know, I really can’t prove it right. I can prove the impact of marketing back and I think everything that we do

To revenue until we’re doing to the sales pipeline.

I think that’s a key thing for our audience to understand is if they have these ideas of starting up their own podcasts or any sort of, you know, edutainment Outlet. I think there’s obviously got to be some metrics that you can go back to leadership and say this is what it’s actually doing for us and to that end Justin. I want to give you the final word just because it’s obviously great to have you back on the show in terms of anything that maybe we might have missed or final points related to starting up a podcast or video series anything that maybe we may have missed earlier in the conversation.

Yeah. There’s one thought I’d give you about a podcast that’s got to be integrated, right? It can’t be standing alone. So think about some of the stuff that we’re doing here when we publish a thought leadership report around use of AI and Healthcare or the role of precision medicine. I then take the data and the stats from that and then I find a guest to talk about Precision medicine and I’m like, hey according to this recent research report that we did on Precision medicine xyzst.

Happens what’s your reaction?

Then our sales team can take the podcast and they actually can push it out to a customer because what’s the sales guy’s favorite thing to do add value to a customer where you’re not asking for anything in return. So you’ve got somebody who stale you haven’t talked to for 30 days Hey listen to this podcast on Precision medicine. Just thought I wanted to send it your way. Here’s a link talk to you soon. So even our podcast which doesn’t have any Revenue it will never have any Revenue associated with it because again, it’s all about thought leadership and brand awareness. It becomes a tool in our overall marketing Arsenal that we use to go off and drive value for the company and also again try to educate our customers our prospects and the market at large. It’s such a comprehensive way of looking about it. And that’s why

I enjoy having you on the show Justin’s you’re able to break it down in a way that’s very digestible for our audience. So I appreciate you being on the show. Hope we can have you on again down the line and certainly wish you and your podcast the best and appreciate you being on

our podcast too to share some insights.

Thanks for having hope everybody gets a chance to listen to definitively speaking. Love talking to you Jack and I’ll definitely come back whenever you want me to.

Health policy update with Lecia Bushak.

As healthcare marketers scramble to build AI practices, many have wondered how the technology might manifest – both for good and for bad – in the current ‘Wild West’ that exists, with no regulation in place.

The federal government has officially made one step toward defining that regulation this week.

On Monday, President Joe Biden announced an executive order for AI regulation, including eight guiding priorities that would seek to QUOTE “harness AI for good and realize its myriad benefits,” while “mitigating its substantial risks.”

The order requires federal agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services to develop responsible AI standards – while protecting civil rights. It also requires companies to notify the federal government if they’re creating an AI model that involves a national security or public health risk.

For healthcare in particular, Biden wants the HHS to create a regulatory unit that can monitor new AI tools as they’re developed, review them before they go into the market – and then track their performance once they’re being used. The idea is to create a safety net that stops any potential harmful AI practices.

But the executive order isn’t just about reigning in the risks of AI. The White House also wants to see if it can spur and encourage innovation in healthcare through AI – like using the technology to improve access to care or create new drugs.

Biden directed the HHS to begin investing into initiatives like AI tools that can create things like personalized health and immune-response profiles for patients. The federal government also wants the HHS to see if AI can improve health care data quality and decrease administrative burdens.

Initial reactions from healthcare marketers included concerns that more regulation could potentially raise costs for agencies. At the same time, responsible AI regulations might actually be QUOTE “a boon for life science startups,” according to Dave Latshaw, CEO and co-founder of Biophy and a former AI drug development lead at Johnson & Johnson.

“As regulations become more defined, we can expect a surge in opportunities for AI specialists in life sciences,” he said.

Biden has given the HHS and other federal agencies a year to develop their AI regulatory plans. I’m Lecia Bushak, Senior Reporter at MM+M.

And this is the part of the broadcast when we welcome Jack O’Brien to tell us what’s trending on healthcare social media.

Hey Marc, late last week, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to consumers to not purchase or use certain eye drops from several major brands due to the risk of eye infection.

The agency warned against the use of 26 over-the-counter eye drop products and said using them could result in partial vision loss or blindness.

The eye drops are marketed by CVS Health, Rite Aid, Cardinal Health and Target’s up & up brand and Velocity Pharma, the FDA said in a statement. It has also asked the manufacturer to recall all lots of the product.

Like what do you make of all of that as you astutely point out vision is one of the five senses Jack and something we don’t want to lose.

Yes. So,

you know, some warnings are more serious than others. This one’s no overstatement. It comes on the heels of the fda’s morning against using several other eye drop products due to microbial contamination that came earlier this year in May and in that case the CDC reported the use of eye drops contaminated with the truck resistant bacteria resulted in some patients experiencing vision loss surgical removal of their eyes and even death all told there were deaths and 14 cases.

Vision loss reported among more than 80 infections of the rare strain of drug-resistant bacteria for those following at home. The Strain was called pseudomonas hydrogenosa, and that had never been seen or never been identified. Excuse me in the United States prior to that outbreak. The CDC has also reported four cases of surgically removed, eyeballs.

So again, the FDA is waving a red flag here and for good reason.

Yeah, I agree with you mark that definitely there’s some pretty serious complications associated with these eye drops. So let’s go to the FDA has you know issued a warning just hope that that warning reaches people who might be mindlessly choosing these eye drops or using the ones that they have at home already without being aware whether or not this warning will get to them, you know is is another question but definitely hoping that the FDA manages to communicate that properly to to everyone who might be using them

and I think it goes back to a key point that we’ve talked about a number of times on the podcast whether with the FDA or the CDC just how important messaging is because to your point less like the amount of times that I’ve gone into CVS to get ear drops or you name it. Just anything that you think where it’s like, oh, it’s generic. This is what I need it for. This is the task you again to your point mine mindlessly, you’re like, I’m just gonna get that just gonna buy it and use it. But then if that’s not communicated to me the consumer and I could potentially lose my eyes have them plucked out of my head or you know die.

That’s that’s a really funny

to assume. That’s not gonna happen to you when you’re picking eye drops from the pharmacy, you know?



but that’s incumbent on these agencies people go out there and say the public like listen, you need to be mindful and certainly it’s on these companies as well to remove the products from their shelves. But you know, there is something on the consumer too to be like, oh wait I did hear about that are these the ones I’m not supposed to buy and avoid them, you know at all costs at this point.

Yeah and good point about you know, the media has to pick up this message and run with it. We’ve seen some Outlets do that already, but they’ve got to get that message out there.

All told, there were Four deaths and 14 cases of vision loss reported among more than 80 infections of that  rare strain of drug-resistant bacteria – for those following at home, the strain was called Pseudomonas AY-ROO-GIN-OH-SA aeruginosa – that had never been identified in the United States prior to this outbreak. The CDC has also reported four cases of surgically removed eyeballs.

So, again, the FDA is waving a red flag again here, and for good reason.

So I’m going to talk a little bit about some of the top nurse influencers on tiktok, while Physicians and mental health professionals have taken a tiktok to reach patients nurses have had a rocky relationship with the site several went viral over posting controversial videos in recent years such as the labor and delivery X Video in 2022, but is the platform

I’m continues to grow nurses have created a niche of their own nurse talk where advice is parcel doubt with humor and enthusiasm whether they position themselves as comedians or Educators tiktoks top nurses have huge influence in the Realms of women’s health mental health and more.

Some of the biggest influencers include nurse Tara also known as the official tiktok nurse who has 1.3 million followers and creates videos about her work as a school nurse including how she communicates with young students with nuance and care nurse Blake who has nearly one million followers is also a traveling standard comedian in addition to being a nurse and he uses humor to discuss the trials and tribulations of working in healthcare. Then there’s kojo sarfo a psychiatric nurse practitioner who posts videos in which he role plays conversations between clinicians and patients around tough mental health topics, like depression and suicide ideation. It appears many of these influencers have come a long way since the controversial viral nurse videos gave them a bad reputation on social media and these influencers are showing how to build trust with their audiences by being informative supportive and funny communicators. So, I don’t know if any of you have seen, you know, some of these nurse videos on tiktok, but curious what your thoughts are in sort of

This turnaround of events when it comes to nurses on the platform.

Yeah, many of us recall the viral backlash against that group of L&D nurses who’s tiktok video shared patient behaviors at peeve them. So I’m glad to see that some positive representatives of the professional stepping up to kind of rewrite their net The Narrative of nurses on tiktok Leisure. These influencers are racking up millions of views by using the platform for Gen Z patient education and forming what it’s like to be nursing students and sharing communication tips and Blake was pretty funny as well playing the middle middle America towns with his hcp-oriented comedy act. And since we’re talking about best practices for various media, this is the best practice on tiktok. What’s cool is the way these creators are using the medium. I’m seeing this technique of videos where the tiktoker plays multiple roles and uses that conversation to get a point across like how to cancel a tween girl about science puberty or how to talk to someone who’s having suicidal thoughts. It seems to be becoming fairly.

An on tiktok versus YouTube maybe it’s also been used in other media platforms. If anyone’s seen the tiktoks by doctor glaucom flecken. Sorry if I’m mispronouncing his name, he does it really well. Just thought I’d mention


Yeah, I thought it was interesting Lush. I mean obviously seeing some of these nurses that you put on there I’ve seen in passing some of their content before certainly remember the X video that came out last year. It was actually interesting. I had a woman I went to high school with who posted a response video to that basically kind of saying that not all nurses have that perspective about their patients or that feeling towards them and she went viral off of that that wasn’t even from following her that was just going through my timeline and suddenly it’s like oh hundreds of thousands of views from this person. I know so it’s it’s interesting to see this obviously coming from a magazine that I worked at for a few years. We had a nursing section and it is such a tight-knit community. They are so passionate about what they do, but you talk about kind of the the love-hate relationship that they have with tiktok where yeah, sometimes it can be light-hearted and and informative that way obviously I think they got a bad reputation certainly last year. So it’s interesting to see that kind of see change if you will in terms of how they’re putting content on the site and and things like that. So I

A great job with the piece. Obviously, I appreciate any time that you are willing to go through and see what’s trending on tiktok to be able to kind of take a step back and say these are the people that are really making the most influence on the site and changing the conversations and it’s important piece I think for our audience certainly.

Netflix is diving back into the world of opioids and pharma greed with its latest movie Pain Hustlers.

Released last week, Pain Hustlers stars Emily Blunt as Liza Drake, a down-and-out single mom looking to provide for her daughter dealing with seizures. While working at a strip club, she has a chance encounter with Pete Brenner, an executive at Zanna Therapeutics played by Chris Evans, who gives her a shot as a sales rep. 

The two-hour film is based on the book Pain Hustlers: Crime and Punishment at an Opioid Startup by Evan Hughes and directed by BAFTA-winning director David Yates.

Set in Tampa, Florida in the late 2000s and early 2010s, the movie tells a fictionalized version of the rise and fall of the now-defunct Insys Therapeutics. Andy Garcia stars as Zanna’s founder Jack Neel, who serves as an avatar for Insys’ disgraced, mercurial leader John Kapoor.

Despite its promising debut on the popular streaming platform, the movie has largely been panned by critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 23% fresh score, with the Critic Consensus stating that while it features great actors and a worthwhile premise, “lackluster execution dooms this dramatic look at the opioid epidemic.”

I I think that there was a so it’s important to kind of level set here.

Dope Sick came out and Dope Sick won all of these Awards and was very lauded for how it approached the opioid epidemic and for being able to really focus on the patient stories that were featured in the series and then I think every streaming platform really looked at them and they said we need to do our own dope sick and we need to tell our own stories about Healthcare malfeasance and how it affects the patients and some of done a really good job the theranos series that came out last year with Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes was really great. But over the summer we’ve had painkiller from Netflix, which was fine. It started Matthew Broderick and told the story of Purdue Pharma with some artistic Liberties and then you have pain Hustlers, which is telling another opioid based Story and there’s a lot of focus on kind of the sex drugs rock and roll aspect. There’s a lot of this is what farm reps do to be able to get script lift from doctors. And this is how they’re able to get them in speaker programs and give them expensive gifts and paychecks and girlfriends all that sort of stuff. It’s not until about

The minutes into this two-hour movie that you finally get the oh, yeah, it’s addictive to patients and their oding and they’re showing up the doctor’s office because they want to refill and and really focusing on kind of the patient aspect. There is a lot of talk in the movie about the marketing problems and the messaging and all that sort of stuff, but for something that I think was trying to be so much more than what it was maybe chasing after that Glory that we all saw with Dope Sick a few years ago kind of miss the mark on that end. I don’t know if either of you have seen it or just even your own thoughts in terms of I feel like we’re starting to get into this rhythm of hey, we’re getting up a healthcare related movie or series every so often now.

Yeah, I didn’t see it. But I did, you know see the trailer pop up on Netflix this weekend. I’m glad you did end of watching and check because I was like, oh I should mention this to the news team when I go back to work this week. I wonder if we should watch it. But I did also look up the reviews and I saw that I was getting horrible reviews. So that kind of made me avoid watching an immediately, but I’m glad you end.

watching and Jack, but I

guess that for us

I did I mean I can even just say this for our audience twenty Rotten Tomatoes give it a 23% fresh score and they said what was their quote lackluster execution Dooms this dramatic look at the opioid epidemics, so

That’s their take on it.

Right? So and and you mentioned that it was more of a focus on like behind the scenes. Like what was happening in the Pharma company itself to actually create these like dubious marketing practices in order to prescribe these medications rather than delving into the impact of that. Is that kind of what? Yeah,

they have one. So it’s again it’s all fictional but they have one fictional patient. They keep going back to who was Soldier recovering from cancer. He gets on this drug and he for most of the movie. Oh, I’m feeling great. Maybe we’ll go back to my job and it’s not until the end. I’m sure it’s for dramatic effect that they say. Oh no, he’s addicted to it. There’s at one point that he like bites out some of his teeth because he can’t feel in his mouth anymore. And that’s really compelling. That’s one of those things where it’s like, oh, this is the real human impact, but they spend so much time talking about, you know, they they talk about having sales reps who aren’t necessarily medically educated or know the product that well, but they have phds they’re poor hungry and dumb.

And so they were targeting you know, they they even say in the movie tooth. We’re not looking at doctors that work in the Mayo Clinic that’s for the pfizers of the world. That’s for the mercs and some of these big companies were a Pharma startup. We’re looking at the lower tier. We’re looking at, you know, doctors offices and health clinics that you can find. It’s all set in Florida. So it’s all around the southeast but they’re sending these phds to look for equally dumb they say at one point. I mean not dumb but equally desperate doctors. They say at one point the doctors are just as horny ingredients everybody else. So it really plays on that for a narrative which is true. I’m not I’m not here to absolve the industry of that by any stretch but I think the patient stories as any marketer will tell you are probably the most compelling and while people can say, oh, yeah. This is definitely kind of the more Sin City aspect of it. You kind of want to see how it’s impacting your neighbor down the street your uncle people that you know and love

Yeah, and a great points. I don’t want to you know duplicate any of that but like back in 2019 when the verdict was handed down for insights and Therapeutics and John Kapoor who the main character, you know, as you point as Loosely based around, you know, it was a real turning point in the opioid crisis because it put the entire industry on notice that marketing abuses wants to Once excuse with a mere monetary fine could now result in jail time and you know, he got several years and you know, you’re talking about doctors and others who you know may have been complicit in over-prescribing opioids doctors involved in the incise Kickbacks game did get jail time and you know, the government in the case cited in person meetings phone calls and texts to inform sales reps that the key to sales was using the speaker program series to pay practitioners to prescribe subsists, which was that I think that nasal spray and you know, we’ve seen drug distribution companies pharmacies.


grilled by lawmakers, you know for for exacerbetting the opioid crisis and in some cases paying large fines and and so the threat of a real, you know, criminal prosecution was a wake-up call then and so, you know the that I think they feel like the industry has has you know gone through that, you know, perhaps mine shift hopefully from a couple of years ago. And yeah, it’s sort of surprised to see, you know, Netflix go back to the opioid. Well so soon after you know pain

killer was one of the summer

very thank you that that you brought up earlier on the program. But you know, as you say it goes to the to the point that Healthcare Bad actors and and their malfeasance is becoming a reliable sort of villain, you know for entertainment and so perhaps we could, you know, get used to saying this more often.

Yeah, and I wrote and the review that you can read on the site that it’s interesting that like obviously we’re in a point now where Farmers trying to figure out its footing post covid where they were obviously lauded as Heroes because they came up with these lifesaving vaccines. Now, we’re back to the conversations around drug pricing around the opioid crisis around what the future of Health Care looks like and it’s interesting to see these stories still coming out. Like this was a story that happened in 2019 could have been put out in 2020. It would have been timely then but it is interesting to your point going back to the well another thing that readers are listeners may remember from the insights Scandal was the music video that they put out where they had a sales in sales executive dress up as subsists. They’re basil spray opioid and do this rap video and dancing around everything and it was shown at a conference for their sales reps. Chris Evans. Does that in the near the end of the movie which I’m sure if you are not familiar at all with that Saga you’re like, oh this is so abhoring whatever but then immediately

Watching him like. Oh, yeah that was inside. You know, when that trial was going on that was used as evidence four years ago. And that was all around with headlines and media coverage. So it’s you know, if you got nothing else to do if you have two hours, but I think even if you have Netflix, they got so many other things go watch something else go or read the book. I mean it was based on the book Payne Hustlers, which it’s excited in the article. You can go find it there. I’m sure that that’s more entertaining and it is more disappointing just because I love Emily Blunt and Chris Evans. So

it’s a very very good not to understand their performance now

not at all

and it’s a look at the sort of CD or underbelly of Pharma marketing, you know, hopefully those practices are not, you know as common but thanks for for watching that Jack and for reviewing it.

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 Roku’s Chris Schneider for a preview of the upcoming MM+M Media Summit.

That’s it for this week. The mmm podcast is produced by Bill Fitzpatrick Gordon failure, lesabusak and Jack O’Brien. Our theme music is by scissy and Son rate review and follow every episode wherever you listen to podcasts new episodes out every week and be sure to check out our website. Mmm, hyphenonline.com for the top news stories and farmer marketing.