Ogilvy Lauds Marketing Hall of Famers

Christine Baptista, Senior Art Director, Ogilvy Health

The healthcare agency’s Christine Baptista, Senior Art Director, and Gabrielle Maniscalco, Senior Account Executive, will both be named to the Medical Advertising Hall of Fame’s (MAHF) 9th Future Famers Program. Their appointment was celebrated at the Pierre Hotel in New York. For over 20 years, the MAHF has recognized individuals who have made a lasting mark on healthcare advertising by inducting them into the Hall of Fame. Baptista has left her mark by actively helping those part of Ogilvy Health’s Young Professional Network as well as the agency’s Inspiration Committee.

Gabrielle Maniscalco, Senior Account Executive, Ogilvy Health

Maniscalco is a founding member of Ogilvy Health’s Young Professional Network and a team leader on a JED Foundation pro bono campaign, which helps teens in New York City overcome mental health challenges. Both women are having a positive impact on communities around them and influence the medical community through their work in marketing and communications.

Health Monitor Network Named a Best Place to Work

Health Monitor Network, a leading DTP agency, has been named among the greatest places to work across the U.S. The Great Place to Work Institute, known globally for being the Gold Standard in workplace culture evaluation, ranked the company as one of only seven companies in New Jersey that qualifies as an official Great Workplace. Their methodology confirmed that Health Monitor earned an exceptional 89% Trust Index Engagement Score with its employees.

The Health Monitor team works to foster a family-style environment with special company outings (annual relaxation day, costume-themed holiday party), personal growth opportunities

(Health Monitor University), on-site fitness and meditation classes (Healthy ME), and complimentary healthy snacks and beverages provided in the company’s recently unveiled, Café HM. Ken Freirich, CEO, Health Monitor Network, comments, “The special and unique culture that exists at HM is a testament to the passionate and dedicated people who make up our great organization. Their commitment, loyalty, unbound creativity, hard work, and extra effort has made HM the outstanding organization it has become today.”

Supreme Court Will Not Hear ACA Lawsuit Before Upcoming Elections

In an effort to end the legal uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act, 20 Democratic states hoped the Supreme Court would intervene in a lawsuit brought up by 17 Republican states to dismantle the law. The Court decided it was too soon to weigh in on the constitutionality of the law and will wait for federal appeals court to handle the case. This means a final decision will not be made before the 2020 elections. Opponents of the lawsuit are troubled by the court’s decision, saying it will throw more uncertainty into insurance markets. The leading insurance industry lobbying group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, wrote an amicus brief supporting the blue states’ efforts to no avail. Federal Judge Reed O’Connor, who originally ruled the ACA was unconstitutional, will now hear the case again.

American College of Physicians Draws Up Universal Healthcare Plans

The American College of Physicians (ACP) proposed two approaches for achieving universal healthcare in the U.S. Their recommendations require either a single-payer system such as “Medicare for All” or a publicly financed coverage option combined with regulated private insurance.

Robert McLean, MD, MACP, ACP President, said in a statement, “We believe that American healthcare costs too much; leaves too many behind without affordable coverage; creates incentives that are misaligned with patients’ interests; undervalues primary care and under invests in public health; spends too much on administration at the expense of patient care; and fosters barriers to care for and discrimination against vulnerable individuals.”

The group claims that under either model, cost sharing should be eliminated and payments to physicians and other health professionals, hospitals, and others delivering healthcare services must be sufficient to ensure access. This would eliminate existing inequities including the undervaluation of primary and cognitive care. Despite historical controversy (the AMA is still in opposition to the approach), the single-payer system seems to be gaining popularity among physicians.

A recent Medscape poll found that 49% of all U.S. physicians are in support of “Medicare for All.” As the second-largest physician group in the country, the ACP is leading the way towards a more positive attitude regarding the single-payer option in the medical community. Bob Doherty, Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs and Public Policy for the ACP, said, “Physicians are increasingly frustrated with paperwork…they see the lack of insurance as standing in the way of their patients getting affordable care.” ACP agrees with opposition that current Medicare payouts to health service providers would not be sustainable, but suggests that doctors may accept smaller payments if they can save on administrative costs with a simpler system. The debate is ongoing within the ACP, physician communities, and legislative groups.

McCann Launches the IGNITE Creative Careers Program

IGNITE is the new creative careers program launched by McCann Health with the belief that ideas can come from anywhere—and so can creative talent. In order to help kick-start careers no matter an individual’s background or experience—no specific experience or qualifications are needed for applicants to apply. Over the course of a year, IGNITE will see 32 up-and-coming creatives placed at McCann Health New York and London. Already, four intakes were placed in New York and London, working on live client and pitch briefs.

In conjunction with open online applications, the company works with partner organizations to find talent. This includes D&AD New Blood Shift, an industry-leading night school program dedicated to training unconventional creatives from all walks of life; Creative Access, the first organization in the U.K. dedicated to recruiting the under-represented in the creative industries; and The School of Communication Arts 2.0 in London, which has a mission to improve historically poor diversity statistics in the industry. Matt Eastwood, Global Chief Creative Officer, McCann Health says, ‘“IGNITE is all about taking responsibility for creativity and diversity within our industry. We wanted to take an active role in shaping the future of our business. And, most importantly, we wanted to discover the undiscovered talent that exists not only in the creative colleges and courses, but in the wider world.”

Potential Coronavirus Drug Sees Dueling Patents

BrightGene Bio-Medical Technology claims it has the necessary technology to develop the active ingredients in Gilead Sciences’ experimental drug remdesivir, which is a potential treatment for Coronavirus, or COVID-19. While Gilead states that it is “focused on rapidly determining the potential for remdesivir to treat COVID-19,” they assert it is too early to discuss licensing. A study has already begun in China to investigate whether remdesivir is effective at treating those infected with COVID-19. In Wuhan, 500 patients are receiving the intravenous drug, while comparison groups will get a placebo. The results of the trial are due in March. Gilead also recently announced a patent on remdesivir in China, including filing applications for use on coronaviruses. Meanwhile, researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology also filed an application in China to patent the drug for treatment of infection with COVID-19, since it was initially developed for Ebola.

AstraZeneca Takes 14’ Lung on Awareness Tour

AstraZeneca’s “Lung Xperience,” an interactive display that includes an inflatable, 14’ tall, anatomically correct lung is traveling the U.S. As part of this educational tour, visitors will be able to walk through the lung with headsets and scanners to learn about the various stages of lung cancer as well as medical advances. The experience debuted in 2019 with visits to four cities, and it expands this year to 14 cities. The list currently includes Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Detroit.

Through its interactive experience, AstraZeneca hopes to encourage people to take action earlier and reduce the stigma that’s still associated with lung cancer. “In lung cancer, one of the constants is people do better if they’re diagnosed at an earlier stage. In addition, it’s really important that they have a complete diagnosis,” Kevin Lokay, AZ’s U.S. immuno-oncology franchise head, said in a statement. “It’s much more inviting to learn about lung cancer when people see a 14-foot lung than looking it up online or reading patient education materials. It’s designed broadly to educate caregivers, consumers, or people with cancer.” Those who cannot visit the display can download the augmented reality app from their website.

J&J to Pay Talc Damages

Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $750 million in punitive damages in lawsuits claiming that the talc the company uses is contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos. The New Jersey judge who set the cost soon lowered it to $185 million. Before this verdict, the company won its defense in four consecutive trials. The drug manufacturer still faces roughly 16,800 lawsuits alleging harm from talc. At another trial in California, J&J agreed to pay more than $2 million to mesothelioma patient Linda O’Hagan, Bloomberg reports. A J&J spokeswoman says that the settlement does not change their “overall position that our talc is safe, is asbestos-free, and does not cause cancer.” The drugmaker declined to comment about why it settled the case. The company’s talc defense did hit one hiccup last fall when an FDA test of one talc bottle showed “sub-trace” levels of asbestos, leading J&J to recall one lot. The company then tested the bottle itself and others. It found that the batch contained no asbestos. J&J will continue to defend itself against lawsuits throughout the country.

Takeda to Sell Manufacturing Plant

Takeda’s $42.8 million plant at the Grange Castle site in Ireland.

Having recently absorbed Shire, Takeda plans to sell its Ireland-based biologics manufacturing plant along with its 200 employees. After the $60 billion buyout, the Japanese pharma company announced it has an excess in capacity. It does not intend to implement any layoffs and believes the capabilities of the relatively new facility and its workforce will make it an asset to buyers. Last year, Takeda opened a $42.8 million plant at the Grange Castle site in Ireland to produce its multiple myeloma drug, Ninlaro. The company is also investing approximately $30.5 million on a standalone modular cell therapy facility with 70 jobs at the same site for the production of a novel stem cell therapy.

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