Jack O’Brien interviews Kathy Delaney about the creative “sea change” needed to find and fix health inequities, especially tapping diverse voices. Lecia Bushak explains a bipartisan bill targeting the opioid epidemic that passed in the House last week. And SNL’s “Yankee swap” sketch involving CRISPR Therapeutics’ recently approved gene therapy tops our Trends segment, along with Oprah’s weight-loss Rx. Plus, editors offer their reflections and 2024 outlook. Music by Sixième Son.
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.
Read the full episode transcript here
Hey, it’s Mark. Well, you’ve almost made it to the new year. That means his prediction season. Here’s one that you can take to the bank. There’s a lot of end of your type content coming your way from a certain B2B trade publication. And while I’m just preparing for the next hour of my life. We know that many of you have been planning for the next 12 months of years. Maybe there’s a big drug launch your awareness campaign in your near-term future or you need to justify your Omni Channel Media budget or agency roster selection. We want to help you enter 2024 better prepared. That means before the year is out. We’ll be supplying you with additional Market data future looking interviews and case studies. You’ll know what experts say is the next big thing and what Market catalysts are set to go boom or bust that end of year slate Starts Now for this week’s podcast. We’re joined by our final guest of 2023 Kathy Delaney Global Chief creative officer at such an Sachi wellness and an immensely well respected person in the former marketing world and a little later in the show. We editors will recap the main Trends. It’s their dad to us this past year and share outlooks for
24 unless she’s here with the health policy update
he marked today. I’ll give a rundown of
the support Act
to partisan Bill targeting the
Oak what’s trending in healthcare this week?
Hey Mark this week we’re talking about an SNL sketch about crispr Therapeutics Oprah announcing she’s on a weight loss pill and as you mentioned we’ll reflect on 2023 as we look ahead to 2024.
A Marcus editor
at large and welcome to the mmm podcast medical marketing media show but Healthcare marketing writ large.
how are you doing today?
I’m doing great Jack. Thank you so much for having me.
Thank you for joining us on the show. I wanted to start off our conversation kind of going into your background a little bit. You’re the creative lead over at Sachin Sachi Wellness, but you have a background of working with Brands like Walmart Next Guard and the wildlife conservation Society really wanted to understand how that background has informed, you know, your work and your Ambitions in the wellness space,
you know, I’ve always been interested in working with brands that have a more of a
Inner purpose to them. I got my career starting in consumer at a very well known agency called Deutsch.
And spent about 15 years. They are working on everything from Bank of America to Ikea to Snapple Mitsubishi
the work that became most meaningful to me in my time. There was when we started to go into the healthcare space.
And do work for Brands like Zoloft, which helped people get out of depression.
And I just found a lot more substance there and a lot more reason to jump out of bed in the morning and do a great job with what I was working on.
It’s really exciting to hear that and I wanted to kind of pivot our conversation a little bit towards the focus on appealing to diverse audiences and expanding access in the wellness space. Obviously Wellness has taken off in the past few years kind of spurred on by the covid-19 pandemic, but when it comes to actually taking these Brands and getting them from the audience that they need to be at or maybe audiences that haven’t historically interfaced a lot with Wellness Brands. What are some of the best practices or strategies that you’ve seen be most effective to that end.
I love this question and I love where this whole interview is going Jack because
You know, as you know, people have been so historically oppressed.
Technically and racial identities. They experience such a higher rate of illness and death across a whole wide range of health conditions. So it’s really important that we have best best practices. It’s really important that we think about this every day when we come to work and and try to reverse it.
Um, I would love to focus.
If we could a little bit on a project that I’m so excited that we’ve just completed for GSK.
And it’s for women with endometrial cancer.
We really wanted to expand the conversation to to a very specific audience. We came up. We found a very very startling and horrifying statistic that black women are twice as likely to die from endometrial cancer than white women. They’re also more likely to get diagnosed at a later stage with which also contributes to the problem.
Agreek is a disease is more advanced.
But we wanted to incredibly reach black women and their loved ones in a way that was relevant to create awareness to the size of endometrial cancer and normalize a conversation around women’s gynecologic health.
So we created this campaign.
We started with a strategy that was rooted in a real human insight.
Developed with deep research with patients and hcp. That’s always the best practice of ours we have to talk to both.
And and really having that discussion with a person behind the patient because that’s so often on Earth’s the barriers that they uniquely face along their journey to health.
So for red dab, we started by pulling data in reference materials from different sources, like ikana was really helpful for us. That’s the endometrial cancer Action Network for African-Americans.
We conducted research among leading cancer experts patients and caregivers and it all uncovered this really amazing and Powerful Insight that Beyond access disparities and inadequate treatment black women themselves were dismissing the signs.
And the Sun the biggest sign of endometrial cancer is light postmenopausal bleeding or spawning.
So women were just kind of ignoring it or saying oh my gosh. My period’s back. Isn’t that isn’t that strange? Maybe that means I’m getting young again. Hahaha. I’m not gonna see a doctor. I’m just gonna deal with it. Well, that is the biggest sign of endometrial cancer. So we had to create a campaign.
That let people know that it’s not it’s not something to be, you know shoved under the rug. It’s not something not to be discussed.
So we created this campaign that was social series of very personal short films that all had a very powerful call to action and it was about
Spreading the word in the community, right? It was about tell your mama’s tell your sisters tell your aunties and it was tied to a very clear key message. If you see postmenopausal spotting or a red dab, it could be a red flag. So tell your doctor and from this message or campaign hashtag Red Dead red flag was born.
I appreciate you give me the background in terms of you know, kind of the origin of Where The Red dab red flag campaign was born out of and I wanted to pull on one of the threads that you talk about in terms of being an educational aspect there. I know that a lot of leaders that I talk to say that that at times can be one of the most challenging aspects when you’re marketing something is is saying like first you have to educate the consumer or the patient before they actually are able to take any sort of meaningful action. What was that like in the red dab red flags? I’m sure there were people that you talk to that didn’t even know about endometrial cancer before you start having those conversations.
Absolutely, you know it was it was interesting almost it was almost as shocking as a statistic about black women being two times as likely to die from it.
To to see how many people had never even heard of it who never even you know who had no idea how to look for the signs.
You know one of the ways that we got to another best practice one of the ways we got to the idea.
Was by bringing in those very diverse voices.
At the beginning of the project and the middle of the project at the end of the project to review the work to talk about the work to tell their own stories.
We made sure that the teams working on this were just as diverse as the populations. They will representing which was really really key. I think to Our Success.
It meant being really intentional with the choice of even the director and the production company that we choose that we chose. It was we hired a woman named nauseous Shobha who is South African.
South American film director based in Los Angeles and in Johannesburg South Africa
And she just did such an incredible job of pulling out these really powerful stories and narratives from our our patients and doctors and the talent that appears in these in these short films that we put out their
I’m curious because you’ve obviously had such extensive experience in terms of taking on an issue that primarily relates to a community of color in this case endometrial cancer and bring it to the Forefront and really making it a a Cornerstone of a campaign when you look around the industry and we’re you know, three years removed from the protests of the summer of 2020 and a lot of organizations, you know, really pledge themselves to be more committed to diversity and more committed to trying to affect racial Health inequities. Where do you what is your evaluation? I guess you could say of where things stand in the industry. Is there still room for improvement? Have you seen signs where you’re saying, you know organizations are getting the message and
Starting to act on it. I’m curious your take on that.
Yeah, I think we have a long ways to go Jack. Honestly, I think we still sometimes fall into the Trap what I see.
You know in other organizations and places out there is that representation?
In Communications does not mean diversity and does not mean you’re fixing the problem, especially when it comes to health inequity.
There has to be
a really big sea change in how we how we find the inequities who we talk to about fixing it.
And the people who actually come up with the solutions.
And I’m care. I’m kind of curious what responsibility you think that brands in the marketers the represent these brands have to that as well because I know that obviously there’s been a focus on improving access on understanding these issues and being able to act on them. You know, what what does it come down to in terms of Brands to be able to be out there and say hey we hear you. We understand these concerns of yours and we want to do something to improve that for you.
I think I think it’s it’s key. I mean, I think
There’s been so much talk over the years over Brands having purpose and you know a lot of purpose washing out there and and different things that that Brands say they stand for you have to walk the walk you have to get into these communities and really see what’s going on and then really come up with the solutions.
It’s not enough to just say oh we hear you we understand.
What are you doing about it you
mentioned the purpose washing aspect. I’m curious if when you evaluate things on the agency side what other sort of obstacles may be in the way, I know that a lot of leaders. I’ve talked to have talked about the lack of diversity, you know just in their own talent and and want to step up and improve that are there any other sorts of obstacles that come to mind where you say, you know, that’s an area where we really could improve and we should make a concerted effort, you know, not only necessarily your agency, but just the industry at Large.
you know, I think I think
I think we’re talking about it. I think I think many are talking about it. But I think the overall awareness of inequity when it comes to Wellness continues to be a barrier. I think there’s there’s just not enough of it. There’s just not enough of it. I was so excited to see something it cans this year that really make it they did not have a category for health inequity surprisingly.
So I’m going to have a little chat with cans about that, but there was a case of work that did win.
A gold that I thought was really great. It was called inequity inequality. You can’t ignore was the name of it.
And it really inspired me in this in the space because it was about another another shopping statistic about black women are 42% more likely to face mortality from breast cancer one compared to white women and the key contributor to this disparity is the unconscious bias among Healthcare Providers themselves.
so the campaign actually got in the faces of hospitals and doctors and do this incredible outdoor campaign that talked about this and put those statistics out there for doctors and and hcps to see and digest and and get
and it was really quite bold and quite beautiful and startling and it was it was nice to see that it did so well and so many people found it.
Startling and building this as well.
Yeah, that was one of the more impressive campaigns that I saw honored at can that’s it’s great that you were bringing up here during our conversation shifting gears a little bit obviously since you were at can and I’m really kind of curious as it relates to Saatchi and Saatchi wellness and given that you are the creative lead over there what your goals are for the rest of the year, you know, what cow what else can we expect from the agency or is there anything you can give us a sneak peek in terms of maybe campaigns or different efforts that you’re working on?
We did we did give a lot of thought to that Jack we did feel that red dab red flag at this moment was the the most complete.
Project that we could that we could share we have many other things in the works, but because of client confidentiality and so forth and they’re not produced.
Fully quite yet. We can’t really share them at this time.
I understand that maybe kind of switching up the conversation a little bit. I’m curious if there are any sorts of Trends maybe that you’re paying attention to you know, obviously we’ve come out of the emergency stage of the covid-19 pandemic, but we’re still dealing with you know, the repercussions from a pandemic still dealing with the economic environment that’s out there in terms of all these other conversations around health and wellness there anything that’s top of mind for you as you look to the second half of the year.
You know, I continue to see more emphasis on on health and wellness kind of across.
Every category, you know, I think.
There’s been the only the only probably Silver Lining that came out of covid is this more hyper awareness of our own mortality in our own wellness, and I do continue to see people taking more control.
of Their Own Destiny and their own health
And I see our industry continuing to create more tools and more ways to get the right stuff into the right hands so that people can do that.
Yeah, what do you think of the whole consumer isn’t push that we’ve seen, you know, obviously that was in healthcare prior to the pandemic but it seems like it got supercharged throughout the three years that we were dealing with. You know, this virus that no one had ever seen coming but really kind of re-calibrated how we view our health.
Yeah, I think it’s I think it’s great. It’s you know, it’s been it’s been far too long where people have just let their their sort of Destiny be determined by their relationship with a doctor or with a brand or with, you know, an hcp. I think I think there’s
We can control a lot more than we’ve ever thought we could.
and I love to see that we just keep building on that and making people more aware that they
are actually much more powerful than than they might have given themselves quite a for
Absolutely. It’s very empowering to put patients in that position and to see Brands be at the Forefront of that. So Kathy, it’s been wonderful having you on the show here and you know, obviously getting to hear about all the great stuff going on at Sachin Sachi Wellness everything that going on with the red dab and red flag initiative and hopefully we can have you on the show again to talk about some of the other campaigns you’re working on.
I would love that Jack. I really enjoyed this.
Excellent. Thank you
Kathy. Thank you so much.
Health policy update with Lesha buschak
with Congress evenly divided passing major Healthcare legislation in the coming year will be quite unlikely even reauthorization of the global HIV AIDS initiative pepfar has stalled but Congress has made one step toward passing legislation that would help address an issue that everyone seems to agree upon fighting the opioid epidemic last week the house passed the support for patients and communities re-authorization or support act by a vote of 386 to 37 the bipartisan package targets various assets of the opioid epidemic including providing training and education resources around Fentanyl and rural areas as well as reauthorizing support for people who are in substance use disorder treatment, the bill would permanently place zylazine in schedule 3 of the Controlled Substances Act. It would reauthorize funding for substance use disorder treatment for pregnant and postpartum women and make sure people
On Medicaid have access to medication assisted treatment.
House Energy and Commerce Committee chair Kathy McMorris Rogers said in a statement that quote by reauthorizing the programs that were proving successful before covid and increasing access to treatment we can help restore. Hope and healing to those who need it most.
In the last two years more than 200,000 people in the US have died from drug overdoses many links to Fentanyl.
Subcommittee unhealth chair Brett Guthrie added in a statement that quote. I am confident that this bill can help save lives by preventing overdoses and providing access to immediate and long-term care Recovery Services. I’m less bushak senior reporter at mmm.
and this is the part of the broadcast when we welcome Jack O’Brien for the last time this year to tell us what’s trending on health
care and social media. Hey Jack. Hey Mark, we had a busy week in terms of recent celebrity Health news. So I’ll run through that quickly NBA Hall of Famer Kareem. Abdul-Jabbar was hospitalized after falling and breaking his hip. So we’re hoping for a quick recovery there on that end actor Andre Brower of homicide and Brooklyn Nine-Nine died of lung cancer according to his publicist and an autopsy determined former friend star Matthew Perry died of the acute effects of ketamine, which I know we’ve talked about on the show as it relates to treating depression and other Mental Illness, but we start today with an unusual update which is live from New York. It’s crisper Therapeutics as far as SNL’s annual Christmas episode the show featured a Yankee Swap and office party with a farmer related punchline. Well, most of the gifts were Garden variety during the sketch one was a little different vertex Pharmaceuticals and crispr Therapeutics recently approved gene therapy.
heavy also known as exosl which utilizes crisper and cast-9 Technology to treat sickle cell disease
Congratulations, you have been enrolled in vertex Pharmaceuticals and Christmas Therapeutics XL program for sickle cell anemia.
Is this a new treatment?
It’s not a treatment.
It’s a cure.
The FDA just approved XL this week. But there’s a two week two year waiting list and Winston. We’ve been working together for eight years. I always hated to see you in such pain so
You know Merry Christmas. Oh my God, Brenda. How does you do this? My wife is a big wig at crispr. So I had to have
then in a comedic twist Keenan Thompson’s character swaps out the treatment for a boogie woogie Santa toy.
later on the sketch and other character played by Punky Johnson has a chance to swap for cats gevy and acknowledges her own mom struggles with living with sickle cell
I’m gonna make a tree because
someone in my family does have sickle cell. It’s my mom and it’s been terrible. She’s in pain all the time.
She has kidney problems and I just always wanted to make things better for her.
And now after all these years I can I can make us smile.
with this boogie with yourself
those clips are property of Broadway video and NBC Universal.
Now to take our listeners behind the game admittedly I usually tune in to SNL to see the jokes the hosts the musical guests but to see a major Pharma announcement be part of the five-minute sketch and be kind of a core aspect to it was admittedly very surprising. I was making brunch and heard it in the background while my fiance had it on and I immediately said we had to put this in the show Mark I want to bring you in here because it’s not often that we usually see Health Care brands in general get this sort of coverage in in mainstream entertainment. Let alone one that admittedly I think a lot of people don’t even know what gene therapy is to the way person.
Absolutely and I’m gonna do my best church lady impression here. Apparently the writers of SNL. Apparently the writers of SNL don’t consider the recent approvals of the first two Gene therapies for sickle cell disease to be potential major breakthroughs that we do so, you know as we know on December 8th, the FDA approved Chris Brown vertex is cast Chevy which is the one that they mention.
Skit as well as bluebirds liftgenia also known as lovocell and sickle cell disease for patients 12 and older with caste Chevy the first approved crisper Castine editing therapy and these are both approved for patients who are 12 or older and have Vaso occlusive events the term for the severe pain and organ damage and as Kate McKinnon’s character clarifies, it’s not a treatment. It’s a cure so the joke kind of makes light of what sure to be emphasized in the marketing for these products that these could for the first time relieve many of the hundred thousand or so people in the US that have suffered from sickle cell disease from these voes that can lead to life threatening disabilities and or early death
Then again her opening monologue did take a swipe at Wikipedia so that you know, that wasn’t the only one that she took a swipe at and speaking of Yankee swaps crispr is set to receive a 200 million dollar approval Milestone from vertex. So it’s been a nice bonus and it’s Christmas stocking coming up there. But Bluebird did not receive a rare pediatric disease priority review voucher, which the company planned to sell for 153 million dollars.
Although in a conference call last week management noted that they’re in the process of evaluating the lack of a prv and we’ll discuss a path forward with the FDA.
And considering their high price left. Jenny is higher prices 3.1 million dollars versus 2.2 million forecast Chevy access questions remained for these products and we will talk a bit more about these launches later in the
I appreciate your insights there Mark and I do think it was interesting too that one of the things that was brought up in the sketch was when Keenan Thompson’s character switches it out for the Boogie Woogie Santa Andrew dismukes character is then given the Cure but admittedly says, you know, I don’t know anybody that has sickle cell disease. I’m not African American. I think it’s important that this sketch primarily deals with the fact that this is a disease that afflicts communities of color patients that are either of Latino or African American descent Lesh. I want to bring you in here too because again what I you know, you cover media given it’s a lot more in the social media space too. But to see something like this gets some sort of mainstream Pub is it’s surprising to say the least.
Definitely. I was scanning X or Twitter about the skit and someone wrote amazing how quickly crisprah therapy has entered the Zeitgeist via SNL skit and you know pretty successful product placement. I guess if you can, you know state it that way but you know, I’m sure it’s it’s every firm a company’s goal to sort of make their products or their treatments like household names or to make their brands household names. We saw that happen during the pandemic with Pfizer and their vaccines becoming sort of part of the conversation of almost everyone. So it’s interesting to see crisper therapies sort of beginning to enter that space through something as mainstream and wide reaching as SNL.
It’s interesting. You bring up the product placement point because I mean that is such a key part of SNL is the advertising dollars whether through commercials or through sketches and to be able to see this, you know, we don’t know if that was something that advertising dollars were used on that or if it was just you know, sort of from The Writer’s room, but it certainly interesting to see it like you said enter the the Zeitgeist here. I want to move on to our Second Story which is something that Lesh and I were talking about quite a bit at the end of last week, which was Oprah in an interview with People magazine talking about being on a weight loss pill. She had said that she’s on a weight loss drug and while she didn’t specify which one she said that she’s quote absolutely done with the shaming from other people particularly herself. Oprah said quote I now use it as I feel I need it as a tool to manage not yo-yoing the fact that there’s a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier in my lifetime feels like relief like Redemption like a gift and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for
Winfrey told the outlet that she had lost weight over the past two years through a mixture of diet and exercise but moderated a panel of Health experts and doctors over the summer. They introduced her to glp ones and changed her perception on their use for weight loss.
The acknowledgment from Oprah who has been public with her weight over the decades. It seems a major development in the National discourse around these drugs. Additionally it’s notable because when free is a board member of Weight Watchers, which also recently got into the glp-1 medication Market as well and less I want to bring you in because I know from my own life and it’s kind of the SNL effect again, too that we cover this stuff and we’re in the weeds and we know about the differences between ozemic and manjero and this, you know this the specifics around glp-1 drugs, but when it’s somebody like Oprah who is as you know as famous as people get coming on saying I’m on this drug. It’s working for me in addition to the other things that I’m doing in my life. It has a different impact. It’s more profound.
For sure, and I think you know, we covered how celebrities and influencers were sort of touting the benefits of these drugs driving up the demand and Oprah, you know, sort of even transcends a lot of that because she hasn’t even wider audience. I would say than like an Instagram influencer. It’s not just like young people would it be an older audience? I am assuming you know, she has a largely female audience a very diverse audience. So for this to come from Oprah, I think you know, certainly she holds a lot of influence and I I received some information from Zach doc when this happened. They noted that they saw smaggletide appointment booking spiking 30% shortly after Oprah announced that she was on weight loss medication and 83% of those bookings were made by women. And you know, of course, you know, I can’t, you know guarantee all of that was due to Oprah, but they were noticing a correlation there.
And you know not surprising given the fact that we’ve seen celebrities have an impact on on people’s Health when it comes to the GOP ones.
That’s really interesting information of throwing their lesson in terms of you know, just what they’ve seen from their own data Mark. I want to bring you into because obviously Oprah has not been shy about talking about weight and using her own celebrity celebrity influence in that area, but this does seem kind of like a watershed moment on that front.
Yeah, I agree. It was very interesting that she didn’t talk about the pharmacological aspects of these medications. You know, I’ve obviously she’s not a clinician. I wouldn’t expect her necessarily to do that. But but the shaming aspect, you know, it’s it’s an interesting lens through which to view the incessant news coverage. We see nearly every day about the glp-1 agonists. And obviously there’s a lot of context here in terms of the stigma of weight loss treatment, you know, while Physicians used to recommend lifestyle changes to patients battling weight loss problems scientists Now understand that multiple genetic and environmental factors can make that battle nearly impossible to win without medical intervention yet patients may not be viewed by medical professionals as having a treatable disease such as heart for psychiatric illness and that stigma makes it hard for them to step forward and seek help patients advocates have said so more. There’s been more awareness of that stigma this year. That’s probably been a big Trend this year and that was pointed out in the People magazine piece.
Perhaps hasn’t gotten as much attention was of course, you know this this shaming aspect we know with every news story about another celebrity who’s using ozemic for occasional slimming the notion that obesity is more of a cosmetic issue maybe reinforced in the eyes of clinicians and with every snarky joke. It probably makes it that much harder for people who are struggling with obesity to take that step. So, you know Patient Advocates have pointed out that we’re living in this world of remarkable Innovation that could really help people but we’ve actually made it not okay to seek help for your obesity. So Oprah, you know, someone of her gravitas taking that stuff forward and saying, you know enough of shaming from other people and myself I’m gonna I’m gonna do this now don’t don’t feel any you know hesitation to do. So, if you feel it can help you does it does a huge service, you know to the patient community and helping overcome that shaming so I agree with you.
I just want to add on one more point to what Mark was talking about as it relates to the shaming thing like I think about it from you know us is
Normal people they’re shaming that we go through every day in our lives and I don’t think there’s any there’s been few people over the past 30 years of more scrutinized for their weight fluctuations up and down than Oprah Winfrey. And again Oprah is you know, one of the richest most powerful women in the world, but still feels that insecurity and that shame that comes with. Oh, you’re look at how good you look as you lost this way. They’re Oprah’s gain this way, you know what’s going on? So for her to acknowledge that too I think gives a certain power to you know, regular people be like, oh, yeah. This is something that you know, she goes through and she’s still Oprah and she’s still does all this things that Oprah does and wakes up every day with a smile and and that confidence. So I do think that there is an inherent value there too with her being able to go out publicly and you know, at least kick off that conversation if more people feel comfortable trying out these drugs to deal with different issues related to obesity diabetes you name it could really be a game-changer on that front. So I’ll be curious to see how that plays out going forward and on the top.
Of going forward we’re going to look forward as Mark T’s of the top of the show. This is our last episode of 2023 and want to end the episode with some Reflections on the year. That was and look ahead to the year to come and from my perspective. There were a few things that stuck out to me. Obviously this year kind of represent the major shift away from the pandemic era to new healthcare priorities when I was going through some of our biggest stories of the year for one of the wrap-up pieces will have between Christmas and New Years it stuck out to me that most of the biggest stories that we covered this year weren’t covid related. You know, we had the rise the glp-1 drugs, which we just talked about at length. We have the historic approval of can be for treating Alzheimer’s disease over the summer. We saw Megan mergers that were not only announced but closed during the calendar year.
My sense is that next year we’re gonna have some of those same Trends carry over, you know, there could be some trepidation because the coincides with what’s likely to be a very contentious presidential election cycle and an economic landscape that’s still hampered by stubborn inflation. The question is going to be how marketers and agencies are going to be able to communicate amid that noise with a medium that’s continued to be fractured with consumers facing all these different challenges and being competing priorities that’s gonna be something that they’re gonna have to face. But any industry leader worth their salt is gonna make a strong effort to overcome those challenges as well. So it’s certainly not a doom and gloom going to 24 but it’s definitely there are obstacles they’re ahead of you and how you strategize and overcome them is gonna be a key thing for the medical marketers and our audience. So that’s kind of my two cents on everything less. I want to throw it over to you because I know you had some thoughts on both the health policy front and social media, too.
Sure. So on the health policy front, I would say I think 2023 was a quieter year compared to 2022 when we had two major things like the inflation reduction Act passed and also Roe v Wade overturned.
So this year is definitely a bit quieter, but even you know with not as much happening there were still a lot of behind the scenes action specifically on drug pricing. We saw the first mechanisms of the Medicare negotiation provision in the ira get put into place. So the first 10 drugs were chosen and all pharmacies agreed to participate. We also saw some legal aspects on that front. We saw some Pharma companies launching lawsuits against the federal government over this and those will likely roll over into 2024.
Um, the federal government also seemed to sort of double down on drug pricing regulation in general even after the passage of the IRA Congress held numerous hearings to put the spotlight more on Pharmacy benefit managers and began crafting legislation that would boost transparency around prices. Finally. We had the Biden Administration announced very recently that the federal government would be developing guidelines for the use of March and rights to lower dracos for the first time. That’s something that will continue to see moving to 2024. We’ll see the next phase of the Medicare negotiating process. I believe in September of next year. They will choose the prices of the new drugs or choose the new prices of the 10 drugs. We’ll see the potential use of March and rights in the Pharma industry and Other Drug price lowering efforts.
I’ll also add a little side note from the social media and tiktok perspective.
I would say 2023 is the year that I’ve really seen not only tiktok grow as the main Health Resource for young people but also Healthcare influencers or rather creators as they prefer to be called really take off and gain more power on the platform, you know throughout the year I met and spoke with several Dr. Creators who are not just hopping onto the platform to make dancing videos or have fun but who are really starting to approach tiktok in a more serious and put together way truly to form an educational profile for Their audience.
It’s no longer silly or frivolous to be a doctor on tiktok. Now, it’s becoming essential and necessary to be a doctor on tiktok. And I see this as being part of the solution for some of the health misinformation we’ve seen in recent years and we’ll definitely see that grow even further into 2024.
Well, it can be and the IRA I have forgotten about those two things. But those are huge Trends this past year. So thank you both for pointing that out just to add my two cents in here from a form of marketing perspective. It’s really an interesting time. You know, the entire pipeline has been heading toward more specialization for years. Now. Obviously, there are one or three high profile exceptions to that rule things. Like we go videos epic and Manjaro that are you know, sort of mass market products, but in general we’re seeing Much More niched Much More nuanced and much more specialized products and that is all sorts of implications for former marketing. What’s the appropriate price for a product? How do you communicate those things in a way that’s compelling clear easily understood and that’s in compliance with the prevailing guidelines. And we see increasingly that a lot of these activities are just being done by Third parties speaking of which we saw the continuation of the rise of the PE back the Pharma commercialization platforms this past year. They’ve got specialized knowledge. They’ve got special.
Expect expertise, excuse me, and specialized tools. That means they can be much more reactive or the clients can be much more reactive typically in these situations because they’re Outsourcing it to third parties, you know, they can you know tap into the latest tools like Ai and it allows form of companies to kind of almost like pick and choose a little bit more easily when it comes to marketing their products and there’s also the trend of biotechs that are increasingly self-commercializing particularly in the United States because it’s cheaper than it used to be
An experts predict that these Trends align along with the improving macroeconomic landscape, you know, the interest rates and people say we’ll come down next year and you know the cost of borrowing may follow suit, but that these will generate Tailwinds that Propel that Trend going into next year with both PE to PE and more PE back buyouts predicted toward the back half of 2024, you know one stat that I found particularly interesting on that front the pipeline for deals in the Pharma commercialization space that are greater than 500 million dollars in Enterprise value for the next 18 months is easily double what it’s been the last 12 to 18 months. That’s a stat that I heard from Houlihan Loki this past year in terms of Pharma buyouts as we saw the FTC is taking an increasingly and time merger stance as their actions that put the Ty Bosch and the Santa Fe maze, you know phase one deal last week kind of cowing Santa Fe to back away from that deal.
Showed but you know the Amgen Horizon deal did go through and that paved the way for the Pfizer Siegen deal to go through and so people are kind of that. That’ll be one Trend. You know that I’ll be looking to see you know going into next year is what happens with, you know, the Pharma m&a and you know be going to JPM second week of January so that obviously being a lot of people’s minds.
And in terms of other predictions for 2024 in the area of drug launches, I promise I’d come back to the Sickle Cell launches as they will be one of the most high-profile intros next year in terms of the competitive Dynamics for those two recently improve products analysts say that if Jenny is higher price and black box warning for hematological malignancy will be key headwinds with Jenny also includes, you know, this, you know recommendation for for Life long monitoring given that in the trial to patients treated with an earlier version died from acute myeloid leukemia, so patients will be followed in long-term studies to evaluate their off Target and oncological risk and some kols believe that blue bird may need to reconsider the pricing to be competitive with vertex and crisper then again, it was already expected that the launch would be gradual as it will take time for patients to obtain Insurance approval and and for Less Jenny and to be manufactured in the treatment to be infused into patients. I will have more of my top upcoming drug launches to watch.
Week as part of mmm’s year-end content package. So stay tuned to see lashes and Jack’s other, you know best of and so forth. And so, you know, keep it tuned to MMM online.com for all the all of our end of your content to come.
It’s been an exciting year. I appreciate all of our readers and listeners and certainly everyone that’s come to our Live Events and contributed their insights. It’s been awesome to see
Everything kind of changed from the past three years, you know, I’ve been covering healthcare since 2017 and so much of what I did before the pandemic really got put on ice because our Focus turned to the vaccines and turn to the public health X, you know, the public health efforts and to be able to see that, you know, obviously important work get done. But now these other issues that we had been talking about beforehand in terms of access in terms of the cost of Health Care in terms of all these different things coming back to the fore as Lord life gets a little bit more normal is always a welcome sign obviously there are challenges ahead but I’m looking forward to seeing you know, how we cover it and and how people in our industry are gonna try and make the world in some sort of way better place. So now definitely an exciting year and more excitement to come I can tell you that
that’s a great note to end on thanks Jack and thank you all everybody for joining us and this week’s episode of the M&M podcast. We’re off next week, but we’ll be running a compilation of some of our favorite interviews of 2023 and we’ll be back with the new
Suit on January 4. Enjoy the holidays everybody and from our team to yours. Have a happy New Year.
That’s it for this week. The mmm podcast is produced by Bill Fitzpatrick Gordon failure lushek and Jack O’Brien. Our theme music is by scissium Sone 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 -online.com for the top news stories and farmer marketing.