Prepare for the Largest Gathering of Healthcare Creatives in Cannes

The largest, sunniest, global event for those working in creative communications, advertising, and related fields, the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, is once again being hosted by Ascential. The five-day event is considered the worldwide benchmark for creativity, bringing together the entire marketing community and all those who find the most disruptive methods for effective communication.

To honor the power of creativity and its impressive effect on business, innovators from some of the biggest brands in the world such as Shonda Rhimes, writer of Shondaland; Ivy Ross, VP of Design at Google; Kenya Barris, writer at Netflix; and Marie Kondo, the Netflix-famous organizer will attend. Of course, dozens of trailblazers from the pharma and healthcare marketing realm will be speaking and representing major industry leaders including McCann Health, Publicis, P&G Health, Havas Life Medicom, Condé Nast, and GlaxoSmithKline, just to name a few.

The festival’s program is packed with unique health presentations and discussions, including AI EMpowering the Blind Community; Destigmatizing Mental Health Across Creative Industries; Engaging With HCPs: Doctors Are Not Robots!; and How Drinking and Driving Can Be Good For Your Health (a session focused on building a strong pharma brand by using healthcare communications to break free from the cliché-ridden norms).

Along with the good company and entertainment, the Cannes Lions Awards are perhaps the most anticipated part of the Festival, included in which are two major health categories: Health & Wellness Lions and Pharma Lions. Lions will be announced June 17-21 during the festival in Cannes, France.

Pharma Takes Cybersecurity Seriously

VirtualArmour, a premier cybersecurity managed services provider, has entered a contract with an unnamed Fortune 2000 pharma company in California, possibly Allergan. The $300,000 two-year contract includes $48,000 in professional services and $264,000 in managed services for firewalls, SIEM, switches, and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) using technologies from Juniper Networks, Fortinet, IBM, and Carbon Black.

“This win is our first client win in the pharmaceutical space, and reflects our emerging leadership in managed cybersecurity,” said Russ Armbrust, VirtualArmour CEO. “Through a request for proposal, we were able to showcase our exclusive managed security service offering as well as our expertise in engineering.” The company maintains 24/7 client monitoring and service management that delivers customized solutions to help businesses build, monitor, maintain, and secure their networks.

Accenture Acquires ESP Consultant and Manufacturer

The leading global professional services company acquired Enterprise System Partners, a consulting and manufacturing services provider for the life sciences industry based in Cork, Ireland. ESP will join Accenture Industry X.0, which helps clients master the digital reinvention of industry, expanding the company’s capabilities to transform manufacturing for pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device clients globally.

Ben Salama, a Managing Director who leads Accenture Industry X.0 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, said, “Digital technologies are fundamentally transforming the factory floor. With ESP’s manufacturing solutions and our Industry X.0 capabilities, we can help clients take advantage of engineering and product lifecycle management, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence for a flexible, efficient, and cost-effective production process.” ESP offers industry-specific expertise in manufacturing execution systems (MES), digitally tracking and documenting the production process, providing the groundwork for more automated and analytics-driven manufacturing and supply chains, as well as serialization which allows life science companies to digitally track each saleable unit from the packaging line all the way to the patient.

Pfizer Strikes Deal with Concerto HealthAI

Pfizer will be using Concerto HealthAI’s eurekaHealth artificial intelligence (AI) platform and real-world data (RWD) to help identify new and more precise treatment options and accelerate completion times for outcomes studies. The pharma giant’s Precision Oncology will also utilize AI models and real-world clinical electronic medical record (EMR) and healthcare claims as a part of the deal, with an overarching goal to quicken the pace for actionable patient insights for Pfizer’s investigational therapies and commercial therapeutics that treat solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.

“This collaboration aims to find and help patients who may benefit from new therapeutic combinations,” said Jeff Elton, PhD, CEO of Concerto HealthAI. “We are using our definitive real-world data, AI-enabled abstraction, data science expertise, and strength in outcomes research to identify new and more precise treatment options; refine study designs; and speed up the completion times for various outcomes studies.”

This marks the second major pharma partnership for the technology leader in definitive RWD and AI solutions for precision oncology, settling a contract with BMS only a week prior to the Pfizer alliance. With RWD becoming a field in its own right, pharma companies are finding in Concerto a suite of data, science, and technology to optimize and transform their current way of doing things.

Klick Releases Gorgeous New Step-by-Step Branding Book for Marketers

Klick’s new Adaptive Brand Playbook is designed to inspire and delight.

The innovators at Klick Health, headed by Peter Flaschner, Managing Director, compiled 20 years’ worth of expert knowledge and packed it into a 40-lb. book encased in a plexiglass box with an integrated 21-inch HD video screen to create the one-of-a-kind Adaptive Brand Playbook. The playbook features real-world research, insights, and creative, designed as a comprehensive, step-by-step blueprint on how to build and activate brands that adapt and thrive in today’s fast-paced, ever-evolving market. Klick’s aim is to teach marketers how to enable their brands to embrace change instead of buckling under its pressures. Klick pinpointed this need after conducting hundreds of interviews and surveys with industry marketers frustrated with the increased complexities and challenges they face on a regular basis in the modern healthcare marketing era.

“We want to share our thinking by showing instead of telling and offer our insights to the people who are bringing important medical breakthroughs to patients,” said Klick Co-founder and CEO Leerom Segal in a statement. “There’s a better way to build and activate life science brands in today’s dynamic market and we’ve seen the impact our adaptive approach can have. Simply put, an adaptive brand is more effective in-market. It is more efficient to develop; it costs less, does more, and does it better.”

As much as the Adaptive Brand Playbook is designed to coach marketers through Klick’s proven approach to adaptive brand building, it’s also designed to inspire and delight them with a captivating, creative form that pushes boundaries as an imaginative product.

Express Scripts Makes Early Attempt to Cap Insulin Prices

Amid growing pressure from the FDA to lower costs for the inexpensively manufactured and widely needed insulin medication, Express Scripts has launched a program in which members will receive a 30-day supply for $25. Those eligible for the program must be members of non-government funded pharmacy plans whose out-of-pocket costs exceed $25. Express Scripts and Cigna claim this will lower out-of-pocket costs for members while keeping the cost of their health insurance plans from rising.

The three manufacturers of insulin, Eli Lilly, Sanofi, and Novo Nordisk, agreed to participate. Their decision comes shortly after FDA Commissioner Gottlieb restated his standing plan to lower insulin prices by categorizing the drug as a biologic to open up competition from other manufacturers via a biosimilar pathway. “While the regulatory transition of insulin products nears, we’re cognizant of the fact that it won’t be soon enough for the millions of Americans who struggle to pay for their insulin today,” Gottlieb stated. “Americans who rely on insulin to live deserve to have high-quality, affordable options.” The FDA will hold a hearing on the policy this month.

Express Scripts reports that 700,000 of their commercial plan members use insulin daily, filling an average of 10 prescriptions per year. While these patients may be getting a break, it was recently reported that Medicare patients and those who pay out of pocket in Part D plans need more insulin and are paying significantly more for it each year. Kaiser Family Foundation reports that Medicare paid $13.3 billion for insulin products in 2017, an increase of 840% from 2014. Because of the monopoly on the simple drug, it’s high demand, and enormous price inflation in just a few years, the FDA is determined to make insulin the first medication more accessible in its war against increasing drug prices.

MJH Becomes Largest Medical Media Company in USA

Michael J. Hennessy, Jr., President of MJH Associates‚ Inc.

MJH Associates has become the largest full-service healthcare education, market research, and multichannel medical communications company in the United States with the acquisition of UBM Life Sciences Group media assets. With the acquisition comes six UBM offices in the U.S. and one in the United Kingdom with more than 220 associates.

“The strategic purchase of UBM Life Sciences’ media assets leaves no question that MJH is dedicated to remaining at the forefront of delivering trusted healthcare information now and into the future. It furthers our overall commitment to providing diverse stakeholders—from providers to patients to caregivers—access to trusted and timely resources to help inform care and optimize outcomes,” said Michael J. Hennessy, Jr., President of MJH Associates‚ Inc., in a statement.

The new assets, including iconic multimedia platforms in the healthcare, animal care, pharma sciences, and dental fields, will form a new business unit within MJH called MultiMedia Healthcare, LLC. The new entity is expected to significantly extend access and engagement with meaningful health content.

FSD Acquires Prismic Pharmaceuticals

FSD Pharma entered into an all-stock exchange for the acquisition of U.S.-based Prismic Pharmaceuticals, an R&D company developing novel non-addictive prescription drugs as alternatives to opioids with formulations utilizing micro-palmitoylethanolamide’s (“PEA”) “entourage” effect on certain drugs impacting the endocannabinoid system.

FSD will purchase $17.5 million in outstanding and preferred shares as well as $4.0 million of outstanding Prismic liabilities. The leading cannabis researcher will leverage Prismic’s portfolio of cannabinoid therapies for treating inflammation, pain, and neurological conditions.

Peter Moriarty, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Prismic, said in a statement, “We are excited to be entering into a new phase of growth with FSD Pharma. We believe our combined resources and highly competent leadership teams will position us to execute on our clinical development programs and on delivering highly effective products that safely address pain, inflammation, and neurological disorders with high unmet clinical needs.”

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