J&J Furthers Healthcare Professionals’ Education

Sandra Humbles

The new Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Institute, recently founded by the company, provides comprehensive professional education focused on helping healthcare professionals improve outcomes, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce costs in a rapidly changing medical environment.

The Institute’s curriculum applies to clinical and non-clinical professionals using in-class and virtual reality-based surgical simulation to properly acquaint HCPs with the latest medical knowledge and technologies available—not only in the developed market space, but also in emerging market areas such as Brazil and China.

“Around the world, significant disparities in healthcare professional education and training, coupled with a shortage of health workers, means that some patients and consumers are unable to benefit from the latest medical knowledge and expertise,” says Sandra Humbles, Vice President, Global Education Solutions for Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies. “The Institute will harness the breadth, reach, resources, and collective passion of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies to address these needs.” The Institute will combine 26 professional education facilities and will partner with online educational programs to reach medical professionals in remote locations. J&J hopes to generate an environment of lifelong learning for medical professionals across the globe to help address the growing demand for quality healthcare.

Proteome Sciences Receive Good Clinical Laboratory Practice Accreditation

A lab at Proteome Sciences.

London-based Proteome Sciences, a company that specializes in the analysis of proteins detected by Mass Spectrometry and in the discovery, validation, and assay development of protein biomarkers, recently received the Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) Accreditation needed to extend its proteomic services to the analysis of clinical trial samples.

Proteome Science’s LC-MS2, LC-MS3, SysQuant, and TMTcalibrator methodologies detect many thousands of proteins per sample that can be trimmed down to some tens of proteins that are either up- or down-regulated with disease progression or drug treatment. With GCLP status, the biotech company can now develop a targeted SRM Mass Spectrometry-based assay which, after validation, can be used for fit-for-purpose biomarker assays in a GCLP-certified clinical trial environment. In fact, the company has already patented a number of novel protein biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment of cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Taking the Character Limit Off of Pharma Marketers’ Shoulders

Twitter has excited many professionals with their jump to a 280-character limit, not the least of which are pharma marketers. You can expect to see Twitter campaigns with fuller context, including more personalized messages, images, videos, and hashtags—but this new freedom has other implications in the pharma field as well. The 140-character limit made it especially difficult for pharma to incorporate fair balance and safety information into social media campaigns. Pharma may now get a more personal message across while staying FDA compliant with the extra wiggle room.

“It’s not a cure-all because it’s only 140 more characters, but it does give us the flexibility to add more language that’s consumer friendly and familiar. Historically, Twitter has been pretty hostile for pharma,” Andrew Grojean, Social Media Manager, Intouch Solutions, said in a statement. Short answers are often not satisfying when it comes to addressing healthcare concerns, so many warn that another 140 characters does not make Twitter a replacement for social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram, both of which offer much more room for balanced, well-rounded, personal information.

Purdue Looks to Settle on Opioid Issue

Purdue Pharma Durham Headquarters

Facing a slew of charges for intense opioid marketing that allegedly contributed to the devastating abuse epidemic, Purdue Pharma is beginning to talk settlement. The drug maker and Attorney Generals hope that a rational agreement can be arranged so that the funds can be put towards much needed coping mechanisms as soon as possible.

In a statement to Bloomberg, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said, “We have encouraged, and will continue to encourage, the pharmaceutical industry—both manufacturers and distributors—to engage constructively with the attorneys general towards meaningful agreements that may be achievable sooner than full-scale investigations and litigation may permit.” Top drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, and Cardinal Health are also involved in the investigation.

MediMedia Wins Gold MarCom Award

The global giant in drug development solutions and services and an ICON company, MediMedia Managed Markets, received a notable industry award for their innovative communications solutions. The MarCom Global Awards program awarded MediMedia with the Gold in their Digital Media Mobile App Category for their Local Care Center Finder App, which was developed for Otsuka America Pharmaceutical Inc. The app helps patients find alternate locations, such as retail pharmacies and infusion centers, where they can receive their prescribed injection from a licensed healthcare professional.

Ramita Tandon, EVP, ICON Commercialisation & Outcomes, said in a statement: “We are honoured to be recognized as the industry’s best for mapping key stakeholders to support Market Access strategies and improving product utilization.”

Additionally, MediMedia’s Head of Creative Services, Global Access, Commercialisation, and Communications, Jodie McVan, was also selected as a finalist for the 2017 Stevie Awards for Women in Business. More than 1,500 entries were submitted in 2017 and Jodie was selected in the Woman of the Year – Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations category.

WebMD Lays Off 10% of Employees

Last month, WebMD laid off about 10% of its approximately 1,700 employees following the completion of its $2.8 billion acquisition by investment firm KKR and its subsidiary Internet Brands, Inc., according to Folio:.

“Internet Brands can confirm that there was a headcount reduction at WebMD,” a company spokesman told Folio:. “The restructuring came as WebMD continues the process of realigning resources to focus on growth initiatives in the private company setting.”

It is not known which areas of the company were affected, but Folio:’s report says multiple locations—including Atlanta, GA, Portland, OR, and WebMD’s Manhattan headquarters—saw layoffs.


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