Jack O’Brien interviews Dr. Kent Bradley, chief health and nutrition officer for Herbalife, about why patients taking GLP-1 drugs need better education on healthier eating. Lecia Bushak explains how efforts to prevent a government shutdown could affect healthcare. And our “brotox” redux tops the social media segment, along with a Biden health checkup and what Aaron Rodgers had to say about Moderna’s U.S. Open takeover.

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.

These days, you don’t need to look very far to find references to Ozempic. Advertisements for the diabetes-management-turned-off-label-weight-loss drug have jumped from TV to out-of-home, blanketing the New York City subway. Ozempic, having made the rounds in Hollywood, has graced the cover of magazines and turned up in comic monologues and organic social media posts. 

All of which speaks to what one analyst called the “gold-rush aura” that surrounds these new medicines. This stems from their profound weight loss effects ; the growing global prevalence of obesity; and the constant searching among diet-obsessed consumers.

What often gets lost in all the hype of taking GLP-1 drugs for weight loss, though? It’s that long-term, sustainable change requires alterations in lifestyle, like proper diet, exercise and sleep.

That’s where weight loss and nutrition companies say they can play a role. 

These firms have found their business models disrupted by the popularity of drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro.

Dr. Kent Bradley, chief heath and nutrition officer at global direct-selling company Herbalife, is an MD/MPH and board-certified in public health.

As the GLP-1 meds have grown in popularity, Bradley hasn’t shied away from stressing the importance of eating healthy. 

He says people will slowly come to realize that, even while taking a drug for weight loss, their focus should be, “How is this improving my overall health?”

To that end, company’s like his, which offers products including meal-replacement shakes and bars and nutritional supplements, can serve as both an alternative and an adjunct as people use the new drugs to achieve their health goals.

This week on the podcast, Jack O’Brien interviews Herbalife’s Dr Kent Bradley about the components of wellbeing that may be overlooked while taking a GLP-1 drug for weight loss; how a healthy diet may be able to counter some of their side effects; as well as how patient education needs to evolve to support this view. 

And Lecia’s here with a health policy update…

Hey Marc, today I’ll give an update on where the government spending deal stands to prevent a government shutdown by Sept. 30 – and the health care items that may be affected.

And Jack what’s on tap on the healthcare social media front this week?

This week, we’re revisiting the growing ‘brotox’ trend, checking in on health developments related to the Bidens and seeing what Aaron Rodgers had to say about Moderna sponsoring the U.S. Open.

and welcome to the mmm podcast. My name is Jack O’Brien. I’m the digital editor at mmm. I’m pleased to be joined today by Kent L Bradley the chief health and nutrition officer at Herbalife.

Dr. Bradley, how are you doing today? Hey, Jack. I am doing great. Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to have you on the show. We’re going to focus our conversation around something that’s really been top of mine. Not only on the show but in the industry and broader Society in general in the past few months which is this kind of weight loss Trend that we’ve seen with some of the glp, one drugs, you know, different drugs and the pipeline at various big Pharma companies and I kind of wanted to start there. Just from your own perspective, what you make of this crazy, it’s obviously nothing new, but it feels like it’s taken on a whole different life in the past few months.

Yeah, definitely from a social media perspective, it is truly gone viral. So what do I make of this? You know, this is a drug a class of drugs, actually, right when we think about GOP, once I know your, your audience is fairly educated in on this topic and you’ve talked about it previously, but this drug targets a receptor called the glp-1 receptor and

And then and these class of drugs have been around for about 15 years specifically to support individuals who are who have type 2 diabetes. And and it just more recently, has really hit the hit the wires in the last, probably year and a half two years. And obviously there’s a lot to talk about and I love to dive deeper into it. But I think one of the key things to recognize is this drug is was intended. Use was, was for people who were dealing with diabetes and the mechanism of action. That if you dig deeper from the headlines, you get a better understanding of its

multiplicity of effects. And I kind of want to go into that just because I think that there is one way that maybe the general public has been perceiving this as oh, there’s a new host of glp-1 drugs out there, they’re able to cut your weight significantly. You’re able to fit Back In Those Jeans and maybe you hadn’t worn in a few years. But like you said, it is made for

A clinical purpose, can you kind of dive into that? Because I feel like that’s maybe a misunderstood aspect to, you know, this entire Trend that we’re seeing.

Yeah. It all begins with understanding the physiology and the, in the chemistry, our body naturally makes and releases the, the glp-1 hormone and it’s part of our intricate system. Our, you know, our internal system, this hormone gets released when from the else cells in our gut, whether it’s the stomach intestines, small, intestines, primarily

Um, as a mechanism to then stimulate our body at various receptor, sites are and one area of keen interest was our beta cells in our pancreas. So the use of it for us to support individuals who are diabetic especially type 2 diabetes was of extreme interest. We also know however that there’s receptors around the stomach which to lay gastric empty and receptors in the brain which have affected people’s sense of food and their sense of fullness.

So the the Target around diabetes has, as also found that it also had a secondary effect of, not only supporting the pancreatic beta cells production of insulin, but also the loss of weight because people weren’t eating as much, and that now is the big Focus area, right? People wanting to lose weight because they’re eating less. And, and I think we’ve also begun to blur. What is the intended use of the drug? It was to improve People’s Health.

What in the treatment of a disease diabetes. And as we look at how it’s being used today, we have to ask is the is the result truly Health, overall, health and well-being. Especially when people are using it to cut a few pounds and essentially starving themselves to a certain extent, right? They’re significantly reducing their caloric intake and not necessarily giving their body. The nutrients they need.

And I’m sure you’ve seen stories about that too. When it comes to maybe those, I won’t say unintended side effects, they are side effects of the drug, but maybe people that aren’t supposed to be using them. There’s obviously been widespread awfully use for weight loss. People that, you know, aren’t obese or don’t have diabetes that are using these and suddenly, oh yeah, they’re having gastrointestinal issues, they’re having cardiac issues. There’s been even some sort of reporting out of Europe about suicidal ideation. And I’m sure that’s something that, you know, can be frustrating to you from the clinical side where it’s like, yeah, these drugs are not being used by maybe the people that they’re intended to be used by, and then we’re getting all these stories about side effects that come along with that.

Yeah, there’s, there’s a lot to, to be yet to learn from this drug as more and more people use it from outside of the original intended, target audience. I’m a public health, prevent Ms and physician, you know, on board certified, in that field. And so I think of it from a, from a public health perspective, I’m always for the most effective.

Least risk option to support all people. And if we were to dial this back and go back, just 30 years ago in 2002, the New England Journal medicine reported a groundbreaking study. It was the lifestyle Intervention Program that documented when compared to a drug metformin lifestyle intervention could could successfully reduce weight and prevent the progression to diabetes. The target was 7 7% weight loss and and the secondary Target was prevention of progression to diabetes and and it showed that it actually was better than metformin, a drug in achieving that objective. So fast forward, we know that lifestyle intervention, that a healthy active lifestyle that proper nutrition is all effective in reducing

At least the 7% and, you know, and so now we fast forward and we have a drug that now is, you know, at 8, you know, 15% weight loss, so more rapid weight loss, but one of the things that gets missed in this is is that how scalable to the masses are people on medication for the rest of life and what are the unintended consequences? So let’s look at the risk benefit. You know, I from a public health. What is the greatest good for the least risk? And whenever we’re talking about a pharmacological approach that has to be part

of the conversation?

I’m curious too because we focused the start of this conversation primarily on the clinical aspect. And obviously, the the responses that we’ve seen from individuals taking these classic drugs but I kind of want to take a step back. Obviously you are in the c-suite of a very well known Healthcare brand. You know the likes of Novo and Eli. Lilly in particular have had to deal with the increased demand for would go, for ozempic for Manjaro, and had to, you know, kind of recalibrate their marketing to meet that issues or around scarcity and supply issues. When it comes to a brand and marketing perspective, what do you make of that whole situation? Because I know that it’s not necessarily something, they’re encouraging awfully able use, but when they’re saying, hey, this drugs available, people are naturally going to say, oh, always that for me, how can I get it? And then that drive the whole issue forward?

Yeah, you know, the they are in a position where

The education on the proper use is probably a big focus of theirs, right? Because I think they too know that this was meant for particular intended audience it and it’s not meant for individuals who want to lose a quick 20 pounds to to meet a particular objective within the next three months. And it’s really targeted for people who have risk factors and, and significant.

Headwinds to their ability to achieve their health objectives. So we focus as a weight loss drug but really the focus should be how is this improving my health? Where my excess body fat is contributing to a lot of the negative effects that the excess body fat causes and this is just one tool in the toolbox. It’s best supported with other tools, like a lifestyle intervention like proper nutrition. The other thing about it from, you know, from their perspective is, is how do we get ahead of that and ensure that people are taking it with that? The proper individuals are taking it that are in need of it and how do we educate them properly on the to minimize the risk?

So the risk of, as it comes out, you know, the risk of muscle loss because a significant weight loss can also treat be a lost, not just of body fat, but of muscle loss. So how do, how do we educate people on proper nutrition obviously Herbalife? It has a role to play in that from our company perspective, we, everyone has to eat and we believe that they should eat in a healthy way and, and get the nutrients they need. They need. And so that includes the protein for the muscle, building exercise to support muscle building. But also all the micro nutrients that they’re going to need and the phytonutrients to support their gut health. So I think that that’s a part of the educational responsibility. I think when when you’re, if I were in the shoes of those companies,

I’m curious on that last point you brought up in terms of the downstream effects because I think when people see these stories about, oh, there’s a shortage of ozempic and, you know, or Manjaro. And they look immediately, how does this affect Novo and Eli? Lilly, but to your point your organization, I imagine a lot of other Healthcare organizations and companies down the line are dealing with the repercussions of patients saying like hey I want to go on those epic and lose that 20 to 30 pounds but you’re trying to also tell them to like there’s so much more to your health composition than just your your weight.

Absolutely. You know it and it’s it we don’t want to feed into the The Narrative that is hyper focused on just how one looks. Right. I mean this is all at the end of the day how do we live our best lives and how do we have the kind of healthy lifespan? We all want? So supporting them, just clearly the medication’s have a role to play for very specific.

a populations that are at risk, but at the end of the day,

Many people, if you ask them, they they don’t want to be on any drug and then if they are on a drug they they would like to stop taking the drug and so Behavior, change lifestyle intervention, making those commitments to healthy eating and active lifestyle, and sleep, and stress reduction. That’s the those things are true, no matter what. So, I think, having a understanding of how to incorporate that in a healthy way, I give you an example that very concrete example. We also know that there’s delayed, gastric emptying that can occur.

With this. And so if you’re if you’re eating a diet of a lot of fatty foods, and then you’re now on this medication, you know switching to a more nutritious vehicle like a shake could be very extremely helpful. Not only to give you the nutrients in the amount that might be more digestible for you. It also perhaps prevents even some of the complications with that delayed gastric emptying that that is also been reported in the news. So I think that that just having a better education of how to solve the issues while you’re on the medication so that you maintain your health is a critical component and how do you address the issues when you don’t want to be on the medication? You know how do you effectively have an off-ramp is an important part of the conversation as well.

Yeah it’s interesting to hear you talk about that kind of going back to the whole changing of behaviors, where it’s not you’re going to be on those epic and then suddenly you’re you’re cured of whatever.

Issues, you’ve had around weight. It really does go down to deeper concepts with nutrition with exercise, with lifestyle choices. That, you know, for some people can be, maybe the kick in the butt that they needed to be able to make those choices and make those changes. But for other people, you know, there are some deeper things that they actually need to work with say a nutritionist or a life. Coach should be able to, you know nail that down.

Yeah. I like that. You mention the coach piece of it because one of the

One of the things that when you look at what are the components of Health in, it’s in the form, which we, we think about living living life to the full, you know, Aristotle had a UDA Mania concept. This is like, at the end of the day, we all just want to have this the fullness of life and and clearly being able to prevent and support the kind of life, we prevent disease if you will, is it

The or prevent the things that are going to cause us to not be able to live life. To the full is a, is part of that, you know, strategy and goal. But also

So eating well exercising those lifestyle changes but living life to the full. Also, meaning means what are the relationships? We have, you know, the loneliness is a critical component in one’s well-being. If we were to look at all the studies about healthy aging and what really helps us in after the age of 50, there’s a huge study that was done on that. The quality of your relationships, the community that you’re part of the, the learning that you can do to stimulate your mind, in addition to the reduction of stress, the effectiveness of sleep, these are all components holistically that people also should be thinking about as they as they also, look at that one component of weight. Because at the end of the day, it is about living life to the full, I think. And so the

Piece is very important as well as the community the coach to help you identify. Maybe those barriers the support you in helping you navigate how to achieve that more holistic objective and identify specific areas that you could be working on, but also the community, the help support enriched edify, you and help. Keep accountability, are key components as well. Which, which in a binary of a, of a prescription. And I take the prescription. It’s obviously not going to fulfill any of those other aspects, right? It really takes a lot more than, than that doctor Bradley. I’ve really enjoyed having on the show

here and being able to cover. What is been a very interesting and, you know, roller coaster ride as it relates to jail, people ones in the weight loss Trend. I were coming into the last quarter of 2023 and obviously there’s

Lot of momentum. That some of these companies have I know Eli. Lilly just released data recently about Ratatouille tried which is probably the most powerful weight loss drug Canada out there. I know that boehringer ingelheim is advancing a couple more for advanced studies. As you look ahead to where this all goes forward and I don’t even want to use the word craze anymore, because it does seem like it’s gonna be a whole new area of research and of medicine. What are your thoughts on that? Maybe, what does our audience need to? Keep in mind, as we started to see more developments down the line?

That’s, it’s a great point.

Look, the advanced has really been around. And this is critical the understanding of these, these receptors, and the agonists and the ability ability to sustain.

The availability of that Agonist. So they’re going to find that keeping this glp-1 circulating longer to stimulate. The receptor is is going to be the Target and how you do that is where the advances are going to continue to go on. I think what we’re going to find though is that their we will begin to see with more and more people. What are the unintended consequences both? Good and bad look, when the drug was first started the Target around the receptor around the beta cells of the pancreas showed unintended consequences around weight loss and other areas which was a good. But there are also be some some negative unintended consequences. And so I think there’s a lot to be understood but I do think it’s going to be mainstream what we should be thinking about is how do we

How do we think about this, like other drugs that have come into the marketplace to focus on a particular area, like our cholesterol or like our high blood pressure? The fact is, is that two things to think about one?

The reality of life and the fact that we have certain things that we need, no matter what, like good nutrition, exercise, communities, social support, none of that goes away. And in fact, becomes integrated into what these drugs have to offer in order for them to be effective and to minimize the downside risks.

Um, the second piece as this moves moves forward is understanding that I like in it to my brother, who’s an eye doctor, he we thought LASIK surgery was going to make him become, he’s an, he’s an optometrist not an ophthalmologist that he would become Irrelevant. In fact, he became needed even more because of the fact that people had to be screened. So only certain individuals really should get the Lasix and the, and people after the LASIK surgery, still needed support. And so, there is a potential, just, I can give you example, example of opportunities that became prevalent because of that market, as that market matures, they’re going to be support mechanisms marketplaces that then get created because of that particular Innovation. So, I

Think that I think we’re going to see how this all comes full circle and the other opportunities that we haven’t even talked about that. We don’t even realize that will be created because of this way in which people are approaching the role that GOP ones play in our health and well-being.

Well, Dr. Bradley, you’ve given our audience quite a bit to think about, as we enter this Brave New World of glp ones and, and weight loss options, but your points are well taken in terms of the new opportunities. They’ll be out there. And obviously for the marketers that are in our audience, I’m sure they’re just racking their brains right now in terms of what that could be for them. So really appreciate you coming on the show and being able to outline that for us.

A great. Great to be here. Thanks Jack. I appreciate all that you do and support of getting messages out and better understanding.

Health policy update with Lecia Bushak.

Last week, the White House asked Congress to pass a short-term spending bill in order to avoid a government shutdown by the end of September.

There are a few healthcare items that could be impacted. For one, the White House wants the spending deal to include $3.7 billion for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to keep the Medicaid marketplace running – and help with eligibility verifications.

And if a spending package isn’t passed, it could impact how the federal government rolls out a fall COVID-19 and flu plan – including vaccination campaigns and efforts to curb outbreaks.

It will also impact the fate of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, a program that dictates the U.S. government’s global HIV and AIDS relief work.

Reauthorizing the program might be especially difficult this year, given that Republican lawmakers have argued that the $7 billion given to PEPFAR each year goes to abortion providers. Led by Republican Representative Chris Smith, a group of conservatives are pushing against renewing the program until the Biden administration reinstates anti-abortion restrictions for the program. Those restrictions would prevent organizations receiving PEPFAR funds from providing abortions.

As lawmakers return to Congress this month following their summer break, these healthcare items remain up in the air as they try to piece together the bipartisan spending package by the end of the month. 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, since we recorded our last episode, we lost Jimmy Buffett to a rare form of skin cancer, Bob Barker to Alzheimer’s and saw Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suffer another freezing episode, though an attending physician said he does not have a “a seizure disorder,” nor did he experience a stroke, TIA or movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease.

Additionally, Celine Dion’s sister said the singer is putting all her effort into beating her rare neurological disease, stiff person syndrome, though she acknowledged there’s very little that can be done to ease her pain.

Barbie, the movie of the summer, has influenced more than carefully-curated pink outfits and conversations about feminism. 

The film has also spurred a wave of interest in certain forms of cosmetic procedures — and is even adding to the rise in men seeking Botox, also known as “Brotox.”

“Barbie Botox” — or a procedure that involves injections into the trapezius muscles in the shoulders to create the impression of a longer neck — has recently gained traction among young women and gone viral on TikTok.

There has also been a rise in general plastic and cosmetic surgeries that aim to take advantage of the Barbie hype by offering “Barbie makeover plastic surgery.” Many of these packages claim they’ll make patients’ facial features look as flawless as the doll along with a conventionally appealing body shape.

Unless you noted in your article about this, that it really ties into the larger Trend that we’ve talked about, on the show of cosmetic procedures, being quite popular among young people. But specifically among young men, they’re kind of looking at this and saying, maybe. I don’t necessarily need to look like Barbie, but I can look like Ken and as you noted, so aptly, you can be Ken off.

Yeah, and I know we’ve discussed, you know, this rise of cosmetic procedure is before on the podcast and we’re definitely seeing another uptake kind of spurred by the Barbie hype. But in terms of Botox among men or quote unquote brox, you know, according to the American Society of plastic surgeons, which kind of tracks the number of these procedures being done at each year, the number of cosmetic surgery and non-surgical procedures, like botox Rose like about 30% among men between 2000 and 2018. And that’s only been rising since then. So we probably expect to see higher.

Is when they release their latest numbers there and that’s really evident on tiktoks. If you just search hashtag Botox, you’ll just see thousands of videos. Coming up of men, getting the procedure done and other classic surgeries as well, like rhinoplasties as you mentioned, the Kendall knows. So you’re really seeing a lot of plastic surgeons on tiktok as well. Trying to take advantage of the, you know, the Barbie hashtag being very popular right now and saying, we’re going to offer procedures and these packages that help make you look like a Ken or a Barbie and we’ll, I guess make you feel better about yourself. So it’s really interesting to see all these, you know, cosmetic and plastic surgeons kind of using that as like a marketing channel on tiktok.

I think it’s really interesting that people are going for the Ken doll knows and not for Ryan Gosling’s, Abs from the movie. That was the one takeaway that I had from watching all the Ken scenes,

I’m sure there are some men who are trying to get the the Ryan Gosling abs for sure.

Unfortunately, there’s no procedure for that yet, but once it is available, I will be first in line. Mark, I wanted to bring you into the conversation here, just because we’ve talked a lot about the rise in cosmetic procedures. And it’s interesting to see, you know, that taking place among men historically, it’s always been among young or older women, but obviously plastic surgeons and cosmetic are looking into, you know, this is a rising Trend

that’s boosting their business. So, you know, love your article, by the way, Lesha specialty, the, the tick tocks showing men Ken, you know, in the, in the chair getting there, the Rhino plastic, but some of the Articles of red, a talk about this trend which is also called trap talks. You know, getting these trapezius muscles injected, there are obviously side effects to that, that one needs to be cognizant of depending on which neuromodulators, you know, one uses, whether it’s Botox or Zoom, or one of the others, but the effects apparently of talking about,

Crap talks can last many months. And if too much is injected, I heard or read one Dermatological. Surgeon say it can possibly leave people with a weakness in the neck, which can affect their ability to lift their head. So it’s something that, you know, you need to look into in terms of the risks and benefits and these procedures aren’t cheap, you know, we haven’t really talked about cost that much but they can run anywhere from 500 to 3000 dollars. And, you know, if someone’s obviously using it in a therapeutic way, you know, because they’re having a Creek in the neck or pain, that’s one thing but just for Aesthetics you know might make somebody think twice and so you know as with any treatment one needs to weigh the cost versus the reward for that. But again kudos to our residents to tiktok turn, Beauty writer Lesha for this awesome story.

Welcome to the Biden healthcare corner.

Over the weekend, First Lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing ‘mild symptoms,’ according to the White House medical personnel. She is remaining at the Biden family home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, while President Biden, who tested negative, has returned to the White House and is wearing a mask around others.

The White House added that it hasn’t changed its COVID protocols or the president’s schedule in light of the news. This is the second time that the First Lady has tested positive for COVID, she had it last July and was treated with Paxlovid.

In other news, President Biden chirped at PhRMA on X (formerly Twitter) days after the administration announced the first 10 drugs selected for Medicare price negotiations.

The lobbying group had tweeted: “What @WhiteHouse isn’t telling you: They’re giving a single government agency power to arbitrarily set medicine prices with little accountability, oversight or input from patients & their doctors—with consequences long after this administration is gone.”

Biden then quote-tweeted the message and wrote “You folks ever heard of a mirror?”

To cap it off, PhRMA was hit with a community note, with readers adding context: “The Inflation Reduction Act does not give the power to set medication prices. Instead, it permits the government to negotiate over prices for selected drugs. These negotiations are also specific to Medicare coverage only.”

And finally, a California plastic surgeon alleged from his own analysis that President Biden has dropped six figures on various plastic surgery procedures, including a face and brow lift, as seen in an Instagram video blowing up online.

Yeah, it actually kind of just reminded me of something Mark said offline about how far malabi and groups have sort of


their power that they had historically had in Congress. When it comes to sort of fighting some of these drug pricing regulations, which sort of led to, you know, the inflation reduction act being passed last year.

Year. And so groups, like Pharma now are resorting to, you know, attacking President Biden on Twitter or I guess X. And it’s, you know, interesting to see it play out there. They also have launched lawsuits against the federal government. So, there are some legal challenges happening right now and we’ll, we’ll see what happens there. But from what, I understand, I spoke with the lawyer about this last week, but he basically said these formal lobbying groups and several different Pharma companies have launched lawsuits, all of them, kind of exploring a different constitutional argument, against why the Medicare negotiations are quote unquote unconstitutional, but it’ll be a while before we see a need decisions made with those lawsuits. So, it’s interesting to see Pharma kind of resorting, in the meantime, to kind of, you know, attacking Biden on Twitter and seeing that play out.

And it’s interesting kind of fighting in the court of public opinion like you say last year because I think getting hit with the community, notice probably one of the more demeaning things to happen on Twitter and to see readers coming out and basically saying like hey it’s not the government instituting a price, they’re going to be negotiating with these drug makers and kind of setting the record straight if you will, Mark, what is your take on, you know, all of us.

Yeah, thanks Jack. I love it when you refer to that getting

hit with a community note because that’s exactly, you know what it is. It’s you know X formerly known as Twitter kind of deeming through its algorithm that that additional context is needed. And you know it kind of implies that the Tweet was was one dimensional one side and what have you? But you know, it’s Lesha pointed out. It’s unclear. Whether the newly negotiated prices will be much lower than what Medicare already pays for them. And I think reading a lot of analysts reports is the three of us have over the last couple of weeks since the 1088 drugs were announced a little bit early. It’s seems like it was largely as expected a few surprises in there. But you know, like again from Russia’s article she points out that Merck’s Genovia, which is on the list is going to headed for a loss of exclusivity sometime in 2026, which is the same year than a negotiated prices.

Is going to affect and I heard one analyst called that sort of like the height of, you know, government waste, you know, like they’re going to go through this whole haggling and negotiation process just for the you know to have a negotiated price on the books for a few months before it goes generic, anyway. The other thing that we’re looking at and Jack, you know, I’m working on this for this week is kind of analyzing the first 10 drugs by their media spend. And one of the things that we’re seeing in the data is that some of the products because analysts had kind of anticipated them based on their exposure to Medicaid costs. We’re going to be on the list. Some of them had seemed to anticipated that and reduced their media, spend the first half of the Year accordingly, so we’re going to be looking at that, you know, the effect on Farmer marketing. So that’s something that people can keep up for later this week. Hopefully,

exactly. If there are two things that keep giving to our coverage, it’s what we talked about with Dr. Bradley in this interview with weight loss, drugs, but also the inflation reduction act. And what that’s going to mean Downstream.

For all aspects of the farm industry. So more to come on that front. Absolutely.

The most competitive matchup at the U.S. Open is not on the court but rather in the stands. 

On Sunday, New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers attended Novak Djokovic’s match and posted an Instagram story praising the tennis star’s refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The image’s caption read: “Bucket list ✅ being able to witness the greatness of @djokernole in person at #arthurashestadium. #novaxdjokovic.”

He also used a red line to cross out the logo of Moderna, which reupped as a corporate sponsor for the annual tennis tournament. 

In addition to its Here’s to the Changemaker’s campaign ad honoring the legacy of Arthur Ashe, Moderna has an above brand advertisement encouraging attendees to stay up to date on their seasonal vaccines as well as its 30-second No Time for 19 ad airing on ESPN.

Moderna Chief Brand Officer Kate Cronin told me late last month that the timing of the U.S. Open, which occurs just before people are set to receive their annual booster shots for COVID-19 and the flu, makes the event an important one to advertise at. 

“It’s an opportunity to engage in a fun way with consumers so you’re not lecturing them, you’re not scaring them but you’re engaging in a sporting event that everyone loves,” she said.

The 2023 edition of the competition marks Djokovic’s first time competing at the U.S. Open since 2020, as he refused to be vaccinated against COVID and was subsequently barred from entering the country under pandemic-era guidelines.

Obviously, this is not Rodgers’ first COVID-related controversy. In 2021, when asked if he had received a COVID-19 vaccine, Rodgers answered that he had been “immunized.”

Subsequently, he tested positive for COVID-19 and missed 10 days, including a game against the Kansas City Chiefs, due to the league’s COVID-19 policies for unvaccinated players. 

Earlier this year, he complained about Big Pharma’s supposed role in the change of his public reputation and newfound villain status. 

Now I could say a lot about the New York Jets. I’ve said as much on the show previously, but I want to throw it to Lesha and then you mark in terms of where this controversy goes from here. You know, it’s interesting to see obviously moderna has had a kind of corporate takeover of the US Open and their branding is everywhere if you watch any of the matches. But this was just about as predictable as it comes in. Rogers, has been a man about town in the New York City area and this was kind of inevitable if you have asked me.

Yeah, you know my first thought actually kind of went to, you know, the general decrease demand for covid-19 vaccines that we’ve seen in the last like year or two because there’s always going to be the anti-vax voices out there and celebr

These who are anti-vax and kind of spreading potentially misinformation about vaccines. We’re always going to see those celebrities doing that. But I’m curious to see whether the the pandemic is going to be bad. This this fall if people are going to get their booster shots and get the updated vaccines from these Pharma companies, you know, we’ve seen a lot of Pharma companies, citing, a lack of demand for the covid-19 Therapeutics and the vaccines and in the last year too. So it’ll be interesting to see whether modern for example, is getting that demand for for the vaccines this fall. I don’t know if Kate Cronin spoke


that at all Jack, when you when you spoke with her,

she didn’t talk about the demand issues. And it’s actually interesting that we’re recording today because moderna just released information, that shows that it’s updated boosters effective against this latest variant.

Seems to be causing a lot of breakthrough cases. I am supposed to speak with her in the coming days for a interview that will Air within the month. So I’ll be interested to ask her in terms of maybe what that impact will be on their bottom line. I know to your point Lesha, whether it’s moderna, Pfizer Johnson & Johnson, a lot of these drug makers are looking at that drop off in covid, demand and wondering what the next pivot is. You know, they’ve obviously put a lot of research and development and, you know, sales dollars behind putting these vaccines out there. But will there be the same demand that we saw last year that we saw in 2021 for the boosters? I think that remains to be seen. Mark, I’m curious because you’ve obviously been watching the industry for a long time. And this is the first, you know, pandemic era that we’re coming out of but obviously, you know, they’ve put a lot of money into these vaccines and there is a public health aspect to it as well. Yeah,

thanks Jack and I really liked your story by the way and you know sort of moderna re-upping its commitment to the US. Open. You can’t argue with that time, timing, you know, wanted to put the word out there.

Before the vaccine season gets underway, and this is a great venue for it. You can just imagine people on the stands, you know, seeing the ads, and having a conversations, among some cells about it. And, you know, to your point, you know, you’ve seen a demand, the demand fall off for the vaccines without that big Public Health push, you know that the Mandate and, you know, I think it’s we see it in the RX data, you know, we all we get that, you know, weekly prescribing data for my qva and you can see the trail off. And so, this is where marketing comes into play, you know, before the drugs had approval, certainly we couldn’t really talk about marketing, it wasn’t really germane to the conversation, then they got approval, but you know, the mandates were still underway. Now, you know you have both in play, you know, you have these, These are Brands and you know, the marketers skill, you know, in is coming into

Play more. So the cronans of the world, the chief brand officers of these companies, it’ll be it’ll be something to really to witness to see how effective marketing can be and stimulating, you know, Public Health demand for these shots, where, you know, again, the trail off. And the demand shows that people are making their own decisions about these. And a lot of people are probably are airing on the side of well, you know, I’m not elderly, I’m not immunocompromised, you know, and I maybe I’ve gotten natural immunity, you know, as as I think Mr. Rogers was alluding to there in 2021 and, and probably

The making decisions to forgo the shot. We’ll see, you know, how effective, again, the campaigns

can be and turning that around and it is interesting, too. As far as much as Roger has complained about this newfound, villain status or is public reputation. I’m sure there are plenty of people that are, you know, critical of him for knocking the shot or, you know, his attitude, or what have you, you know, He Still Remains one of the most popular place in the NFL. So I’m wondering how this controversy plays into that as well. I look forward to asking, you know, Kate about that when we have our interview in terms of, you know, what does it mean? When one of the biggest stars and one of the biggest Sports in the country comes out and basically criticizes, your company openly. How do you respond from a branding perspective? How do you respond from a marketing perspective? You don’t want to, you know, necessarily lash back at them. I don’t know if you come from an educational perspective, it’s an interesting quandary that you find yourself in from

a marketing perspective, he’s got to be seen as a thorn in their side. You know, when they’re sitting around the boardroom table and talking about the impact that one influencer can have on a lot of, you know, good

Communications and promotional efforts, he can frankly undermine a lot of that. So they’ll probably probably wise for them to try to, you know, go to some of those same venues and try to get their messaging in there. So at least people can make informed decision, you know and not let any one voice kind of

take over the conversation. I can tell you who I hope he’s not a thorn in the side for its the New England Patriots.

That’s it for this week. The mmm podcast is produced by Bill Fitzpatrick Gordon. Our theme music is by Susie him, sohn rate review at follow every episode wherever you listen to podcasts new episodes out of every week, and be sure to check out our website. Mmm, online.com for the top news stories at Farmer marketing.