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Jeff Levine's picture

The Great Broccoli Debate: The Affordable Care Act Arguments Continue


Jeff Levine is an award-winning journalist who
was the medical correspondent for[[wysiwyg_imageupload:122:]] CNN for 17 years.  He has also worked on Capitol Hill for Senator Byron Dorgan, as Washington bureau chief for WebMD, and as a media specialist at Ketchum. A guest contributor to Health-E Minds, the following post represents Jeff’s perspective on the Affordable Care Act, based on his opinions generated during his many years of observing and reporting on these issues.
– Nancy Hicks, Senior Vice President, Associate Director, Ketchum North America Healthcare Practice


Winston Churchill remarked that you can count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else.  However, considering the current debate over the Affordable Care Act, he might have added an asterisked addendum—*except when it comes to health care policy.

After being pummeled in arguments before the US Supreme Court observers are left to wonder if not the current law, then what “thing” would ultimately satisfy detractors of the current reform without alienating its proponents?  Read full post »

Dr. Cathy Kapica's picture

Consuming Bugs the Modern Way: Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics


Digestive health is a current hot topic, and it is [[wysiwyg_imageupload:118:]]
expected to remain so for the next few years. The role of gaining or maintaining a healthy intestinal microflora (bacteria) is a key factor for digestive health, not to mention the potential impact it has on our overall health. So, the rise in probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics is no surprise and – since this is such a hot topic that affects our everyday lives, balance and general feeling of well-being – people have a greater understanding of the presence and meaning of these “biotics” in their diet.

Oh, wait. That would be in a perfect world. The reality is that this new (actually old) entry into our diets is complex. When people assess their dietary habits, they need simple solutions; identifying and isolating beneficial biotics that work sounds more than a little daunting. As communicators, we have the opportunity to make the garden of microflora simple for all consumers. And that starts with an understanding of the basics. Read full post »

Alexander Watson's picture

National Health Services Reform Bill – More Painful than Passing a Stone


The National Health Services (NHS) Reform and Social Care Bill [[wysiwyg_imageupload:117:]]
completed its rocky journey through parliament on Tuesday night. The Bill is one of the most complex pieces of health legislation ever to go through the legislator process and will lead to the biggest programme of reform since the NHS was established over 60 years ago.

Of most relevance to UK patients is the provision for treatment and referral decisions to be made by General Practitioners (GPs) instead of by NHS managers. GPs will therefore be responsible for the commissioning of services in primary and secondary care (with the exception of a few major services such as maternity) and are consequently likely to be much more interested in extracting value and better outcomes across the patient pathway from diagnosis through to treatment and managed care. Read full post »

In: Health Policy & Regulatory   /   filed under: NHS
Andrew Lamb's picture

A European Perspective on Social Media and the FDA’s New Guidance

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While it falls short of the comprehensive guidance [[wysiwyg_imageupload:115:]]
on social media that many were hoping for, the FDA’s new document on responding to unsolicited requests does have an interest and relevance for those working in healthcare communications on the other side of the Atlantic.

Of course, no digital project is completely ‘local’ and Europeans should always have half an eye on developments elsewhere in the world. More importantly though, the FDA has given us a useful clue to what regulators are thinking and the issues they face in coming up with clear rules for the rapidly evolving environment of the web and social media. It could also set the tone for European guidance, if and when it appears.

The most significant aspect of the FDA’s new document is that: Read full post »

In: Digital & Social Media  /   filed under: EU | FDA | pharma | Social Media | UK
Suzannah Palinkas's picture

We Must First Ask the Question - What Do We Want to Accomplish?


It seems simple enough and a logical first step to [[wysiwyg_imageupload:114:]]
planning anything but so many times, across multiple disciplines, we hear:

“We need a Facebook page.”

“We need to have a blog.”

“We need to be Tweeting.”

But why? At a recent social media conference, specifically in the Pharma space, the question and principle came up multiple times… we need to start by asking a few simple questions. What are we trying to accomplish? Reaching who? What then are we going to do with the information? Why do we need to be in the social media space?

One can’t deny that online vehicles are growing rapidly, exponentially expanding, and that social media channels are just too large a communication vehicle to ignore. Even so, there has to be the right fit between what a company wants to accomplish online and the vehicles through which it achieves those goals. And it seems that sometimes those key questions haven’t been answered, and the result is an inappropriate or useless execution that simply checks a box. Read full post »