McCann and FCB Health Join Forces as IPG Health

John Cahill, Executive Chairman of IPG Health.

Interpublic Group has announced a new operating model that combines McCann Health and FCB Health in a global network now known as IPG Health. The agencies will continue to operate as their own agencies but will now share a new senior management team as well as benefit from additional specialty services, knowledge-sharing, proactive career management, and coordinated collaboration. The teams at each agency will remain in place and continue serving their clients while now drawing upon the broader integrated talent pool of 5,000 global health communication professionals across six continents, on a highly customized, as-needed basis.

IPG Health will be headed by CEO Dana Maiman and executives from both agencies, including Mike Guarino and Lisa DuJat from FCB Health, and Charlie Buckwell from McCann Health. The global leadership team and a creative council are charged with unlocking the benefits of the two agencies’ complementary assets for both existing and prospective clients.

Condé Nast Health’s New Offerings

SELF’s “My Way to Well” provides an interactive digital experience on the realities of living with a chronic condition.

At its third annual Health NewFront, Condé Nast Health announced new and expanded offerings, including a Twitter-first video solution that enables advertisers to surround health content from across Condé Nast’s portfolio of brands. The offering is optimized for the Twitter feed to “stop the scroll,” with series from Allure (“Derm Consult”), Glamour (“In 60 Seconds,” “Women Explain”), SELF (“Why Me”), Epicurious (“Recipe Rehaul”), and WIRED (“Health Support”).

Additionally, the company debuted SELF Conditionally, a full-service health-focused vertical with culturally relevant condition-specific content aligned with SELF’s core values of accuracy, empathy, inclusivity, and bodily autonomy. The company is also expanding SELF’s “My Way to Well” content franchise, which was announced last year and provides an interactive digital experience on the realities of living with a chronic condition, to other Condé Nast brands including GQ, Condé Nast Traveler, and Epicurious.

UPS Healthcare Tackles Clinical Trial Disparity

UPS Healthcare delivers clinical trial services to patients’ homes.

The same company that delivered everything we needed throughout the pandemic is now mastering ways to bring healthcare to patients in the home, including clinical trials. The UPS Healthcare business unit boasts 128 healthcare distribution facilities in 32 countries ready to bring healthcare to people’s homes with an infrastructure for temperature-controlled packaging and shipping, storage and fulfillment of medical devices, as well as labs and clinical trial logistics.

UPS Healthcare’s clinical trial logistics unit, known as Marken, has now partnered with THREAD, a decentralized clinical trial technology provider. The partnership aims to create a unified, decentralized clinical trials solution with THREAD’s digital platform and Marken’s Home Healthcare and clinical trial logistics services bringing everything clients and patients need to their homes. As a result, clinical research organizers will only need to communicate with one company rather than multiple decentralized clinical trial platform vendors to set up a study, while patients can easily coordinate all aspects of trial participation, from consent to sample analysis, with a single entity.

“Marken’s combination of home health and clinical trial logistics services are industry-leading,” stated John Reites, CEO, THREAD. “Partnering with UPS, we are excited to bring together THREAD and Marken’s complementary capabilities to provide a uniquely comprehensive, flexible, and inclusive data collection model for our decentralized clinical trial customers.”

Marken’s research estimates that more than 70% of the U.S. population lives more than two hours from a research site, while People of Color represent only 2% to 16% of patients in trials. Bringing trials to patients’ homes is an efficient way of driving increased inclusivity and diversity. THREAD’s technology will help Marken’s patient-centric solution portfolio, which is committed to making clinical trial participation more convenient for patients, resulting in enhanced patient retention and engagement, while also improving the quality of clinical trial data.

GoodRx Describes Major Hospital Drug Price Issues

A study found hospitals are overcharging for drugs.

In 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) started requiring hospitals to release pricing data for medications, labs, and services in the form of a chargemaster list, in an effort to make pricing more transparent. These lists are failing to make prices any more transparent for patients, and are only highlighting huge variability in prices between hospitals. GoodRx compared 16 geographically diverse hospitals’ chargemaster prices to the average retail prices (or the pharmacy price patients usually pay) for 12 common drugs. The retail price serves as a baseline for how much consumers “should” pay and it turns out hospitals are drastically overcharging.

In fact, GoodRx found that hospital chargemasters price common generic medications as much as 6,000% higher than the average retail price at pharmacies nationwide. For example, the report found the average cost of aspirin among the pharmacies studied was roughly $0.15 per pill, but among the 16 hospitals, the average price per pill was $6. These charges also vary widely from hospital to hospital; one hospital in Las Vegas listed the pre-discount price of one tablet of a generic version of Zoloft at $57, while a West Virginia hospital’s price for the same tablet was about $0.50.

And beyond the staggering price differences, it is clear that some hospitals are not following the CMS’ new regulations and all hospitals have convoluted and disorganized data that hurts transparency rather than helping. In order for the ruling to help consumers, major data and policy changes are urgently needed.

Gates Foundation Tackles Family Planning and Health

Melinda French Gates, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently dedicated $2.1 billion to encouraging gender equality globally over the next five years. A major part of this plan focuses on advancing family planning services and women’s health with $1.4 billion going towards increasing access to contraceptives and supporting various family planning organizations. This focus comes after the organization released data that proved how disproportionately the COVID-19 pandemic affected women across the world, with a report showing that two million more women are expected to leave the workforce this year, adding to the 13 million who left in 2020, despite the recovering economy. This mass exit is largely due to job loss and caregiving responsibilities, including children and sick or elderly family members, that disproportionately fall on women.

closerlook Joins Fishawack Health

Fishawack Health, a leading global commercialization partner for the life sciences industry, acquired Chicago-based closerlook LLC, a digital-native healthcare agency. The agency’s skills and software products in data science, AI, and advanced analytics provide life sciences brands with real-time insights and the ability to deliver precisely personalized campaigns for patients and HCPs at scale.

“We are energized by the prospect of joining a global team with the breadth and depth of Fishawack Health,” David Ormesher, CEO of closerlook, said in a statement. “I believe that the combination of our AI/advanced analytics-enabled omnichannel strategy, creative, and digital media with Fishawack Health’s global consulting, commercial, and medical communications capabilities will create a unique commercialization offering for life sciences brands and healthcare companies looking for growth.”

MEDiSTRAVA acquires MedEvoke

Huntsworth, the international healthcare and communications group, acquired U.S.-based medical analytics consultancy MedEvoke. The company will retain its name and operate under the MEDiSTRAVA umbrella, which will now make it the largest global consultancy for medical analytics and application of AI for pharma and biotech clients. All MedEvoke staff will remain with the company.

“MedEvoke is a natural fit to our industry-leading medical analytics expertise, and we will continue expansion through investing in and creating new products and services,” stated Elaine Ferguson, CEO of MEDiSTRAVA.

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