Intouch Wins Data-Security Certification

Faruk Capan, CEO, Intouch Group

The pharma agency network has become one of the first ad agencies in the industry to be awarded SOC 2 Type 2 certification. These credentials are given by an independent party only after rigorous evaluation of a service organization’s internal controls regarding the security, availability, processing, integrity, and confidentiality of data. In addition to this gold standard in privacy and data security certificate, Intouch also earned a HIPAA/HITECH attestation.

“This is so much more than simply mitigating risk for our clients or for Intouch,” said Intouch Group CEO Faruk Capan. “Voluntarily going through this level of rigor may seem unusual for a pharmaceutical advertising network, but it demonstrates our sincere commitment to protecting our clients’ confidential customer data, including protected health information.”

The certification and attestation extend to Intouch Group and its six network affiliates, including Intouch Solutions, Intouch Proto, Intouch Media, Intouch International, Intouch Analytics and Intouch B2D.

Healthline Continues Rapid Growth

After its popular site Medical News Today surpassed MayoClinic earlier this fall as one of the most popular health information sites, Healthline Media is making strides as one of the most prominent health media companies in the U.S. Healthline recently partnered with Nitika Chopra, a lifestyle expert with lifelong psoriasis who is committed to spreading the power of self-care, to create Chronicon. The day-long event, which will take place October 28th is the place for those living with chronic conditions to connect and learn in NYC.

Currently, 45% of the US population lives with a chronic illness. This number is expected to rise to 49% by 2030. Healthline’s goal is to invest in those already making a difference in the chronic community so people can collaborate and help raise awareness of this growing population. To do this, they’ve invited 200 health, wellness, and social media influencers who are living with and/or advocating for a stronger and healthier world to the chronic community to participate at Chronicon.

Nitika Chopra, who since age 10 has struggled with painful psoriasis, says, “As a contributor and genuine fan of Healthline, I have always been touched by their commitment to vulnerable, authentic, and inspiring content that is also educational. I knew my audience would get tremendous value out of having Healthline on board as well!”

Healthline’s recent activities also include partnering with NAMI to award four university students around the U.S. with a $5,000 Healthline Stronger Scholarship, supporting their pursuits in mental health and combating the stigma around it. Healthline is committed to generating conversations on the most important health and wellness topics affecting people today, especially for those too self-conscious to receive treatment or those who remain unaware that their symptoms could be connected to a mental health condition.

FINN Partners Acquires Lazar Partners

Gil Bashe and Kristie Kuhl, Managing Partners at FINN with Founding Partner, Peter Finn and Fern Lazar, Founder and CEO of Lazar Partners.

Lazar Partners, a 22-person, health-dedicated public and investor relations agency headquartered in New York City, was acquired by FINN Partners, creating one of the sector’s largest practices. Fern Lazar, Founder and CEO of Lazar Partners, will join FINN as a managing partner and become part of the agency’s Global Health Practice leadership team, led by Gil Bashe.

Gil Bashe, Managing Partner leading the FINN Global Health Practice, states, “The addition of Fern and the Lazar Partners team sends an important message to colleagues, clients, and the industry community: Everything we do must improve people’s lives. Communicators who share ideals build bridges between healers and those seeking to be healed. Lazar is a perfect fit in that mission.” Lazar Partners and the FINN Health Practice share perspective on the complex U.S. health ecosystem and the belief that consumers need access to high-impact creative across media channels to make informed choices around their health and well-being.

Havas ECS Announces Cannabinoids Medical Education

Cannabis in healthcare is becoming an undeniable reality in the U.S. With hundreds of CBD products hitting the market and medical marijuana legalization state by state, an immense opportunity as well as serious risk and liability to many in the healthcare arena is opening up. As demand rises, providers and prescribers face a very real urgency to get an understanding of the science and law behind cannabis, yet only 13% of medical schools offer any instructional material on the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). Havas ECS, founded earlier this year by Havas Health & You, is filling this gap in science-based training. “Medical Cannabis; The science. The research. The risks,” a full spectrum education program for the medical and legal communities, starts with a conference in collaboration with the American Journal of Endocannabinoid Medicine (AJEM), this November 15th in New York.

The first conference will cover a range of key categories, including the high science of the endocannabinoid system, drug and disease interactions and risks, uses, and delivery systems. Havas has also organized a completely unique and highly anticipated mock trial. The mock trial will build a real-life scenario including a doctor, patient, a cannabis product, a fatal accident, and two trial lawyers. The patient will be played by former NFL star, Marvin Washington, who is an advocate for ex-players dealing with the effects of concussions and pain management. The medical audience will be the jury, tasked with deciding where the liability lies.

Rob Dhoble, Managing Director of Havas ECS, states, “The introduction of legal cannabis into society is one of the most monumental changes to hit healthcare and self-care in centuries. We feel a tremendous responsibility and urgency to offer access to training to the health and wellness communities, hoping we can help achieve better informed decisions, a foundation of scientific knowledge and overall, a safer and more equipped unification between this explosive industry and the broader health community.”

Education Dramatically Drops Opioid Prescriptions

An opioid educational collaboration between Shatterproof and Patient Point designed for physicians’ offices led to a large drop in opioid prescriptions.

Physicians who have point of care education on opioids and opioid addiction are distributing fewer opioids than the national average, according to a report released by PatientPoint and nonprofit Shatterproof. PatientPoint found that 21,000 primary care physicians featuring in-office opioid education from October 2017 to May 2018 prescribed nearly three million fewer opioid pills than the national average over the same time period.

In October 2017, PatientPoint collaborated with Shatterproof to launch a point of care opioid education program in physician offices nationwide. As part of the program, PatientPoint installed digital engagement platforms in waiting rooms, exam rooms, and in physicians’ back offices to reach an estimated 15 million patients and caregivers each month with content designed to increase opioid addiction awareness and encourage doctor-patient discussion about treatment. For an accurate assessment of the program’s impact, PatientPoint worked with Symphony Health to compare opioid prescribing behavior among PatientPoint-Shatterproof campaign participants and non-participating physicians. The analysis concluded that physicians running PatientPoint-Shatterproof education distributed a total of 2,954,768 fewer pills than closely matched counterparts over the same time period.

“By educating about opioid addiction and Shatterproof’s mission—in the waiting room, exam room, and back office—the PatientPoint-Shatterproof campaign is enabling patients and providers to have better conversations about addiction, treatment options, and support,” Shatterproof Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Kirsten Seckler, said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing this important work with PatientPoint and seeing more promising results like these in the months and years to come as we aim to reverse the course of the addiction crisis in America.”

Outcome Targets “Moments of Care”

Outcome Health launched “In These Rooms,” a campaign tailored to transform the strategy of the industry from “point of care” to “moments of care.” The campaign features a 90-second video full of the raw emotion found in waiting rooms with patients and caregivers, and in exam rooms with patients, caregivers, and their physicians. The campaign’s aim is to encourage physicians, marketers, and others in the healthcare industry to think differently about content, specifically about delivering the right content at the right moments during the patient journey.

“In pharmaceutical brand marketing, the role of most channels is to encourage patients to go to their doctor. However, the point of care channel is different; patients are already at their doctor’s office and they need something else,” said Matt McNally, CEO of Outcome Health, in a statement. “In These Rooms challenges all pharma marketers and their agency partners to think differently about point of care—and is the first step in our commitment to the ongoing understanding of the needs in this space. Today, we call on our industry to create content and experiences that wrap patients with empathy, education, and support at the ‘moments of care’ when they are most vulnerable and need it most.”

Outcome has released a complementary social media campaign to accompany their longer form video, found on their website. Shorter videos will be distributed via select healthcare traders.

Veeva Acquires Crossix

Veeva Systems entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Crossix Solutions, the leader in privacy-safe patient data and analytics, for $430 million. Crossix will operate as an independent business unit under its current brand led by Crossix CEO Asaf Evenhaim. As part of the deal, certain Crossix employees will receive long-term equity retention grants valued at approximately $120 million in the aggregate.


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