healthcare communications

Harriet Farmer's picture

First Gene Therapy Wins Backing in Europe – the Start of Things to Come


At €1 million a pop, expectations are high.  [[wysiwyg_imageupload:134:]]
But European regulators have given the initial thumbs up to Glybera (alipogene tiparvovec), the western world’s first gene therapy, paving the way for approval by the European Commission.

The treatment is for a rare type of pancreatic disorder in which patients have damaged copies of a gene which is essential for breaking down the fat content in foods.  Affecting one person in a million, the disease causes a build up of lipids in the blood stream, leading to abdominal pain and potentially fatal inflammation of the pancreas.

The decision marks an important advance for gene therapy, a field which has been hotly debated for many years due to shortcomings of previous investigational therapies.  Approval for Glybera, which was previously rejected on three occasions, will make it the first gene therapy to be available outside a clinical trial in Europe or the US.  China approved a gene therapy for head and neck cancer in 2004. Read full post »

Leslie Schrader's picture

Forget an Apple a Day, Today Consumers Want an App a Day

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Yes, that’s right. We are in the midst of a [[wysiwyg_imageupload:133:]]
paradigm shift and consumers are now looking to technology for information and personal health and wellness and then looking to physicians and healthcare providers for “second opinions” to validate their personal conclusions.

As the wellbeing movement expands and changes, it presents marketers with more opportunities, and challenges, to reach consumers with health and wellness messages. From what to eat and what to wear, to what to do and what one should do, leading a healthy lifestyle means different things to different populations. And, there are more and more sources and channels where consumers can access information to help them achieve the level of health and wellness they want in their lives. Marketers can be the ultimate resource and work with the latest technology and tools to curate content and intersect with consumers where they are. Read full post »

Chartése  Day's picture

Pharma’s New Cliffhanger: Protecting Corporate Reputation in the Face of a Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic


For the pharmaceutical industry, most have [[wysiwyg_imageupload:132:height=126,width=191]]
focused on the crisis of the patent cliffhanger: the loss of more than $30 billion in revenue due to patent expiration of prescription drugs once dubbed “blockbusters.”

However, a greater crisis awaits - one that impacts not only a company’s bottom-line, but also a pharmaceutical company’s greatest asset: its corporate reputation. Companies must brace themselves to handle the industry’s role in combating the prescription drug abuse epidemic.

While most major causes of preventable death are declining, drug overdoses are an exception. And, opioids seem to bear the brunt of the blame. A 2011 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that most drug-related deaths were not the result of illicit drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, but instead were the result of prescription pain medicines, mainly opioids.  Inappropriate use of opioids caused nearly 342,000 emergency department visits in 2009, according to government figures. The drugs were blamed for 16,000 deaths that year, up from 14,800 in 2008. Read full post »

Joe Wagner's picture

Waiting for Supreme Court Decision – Challenging Time in Healthcare


Editor’s Note: The following post was co-authored by For more information on potential Supreme Court outcomes, you are invited to join a special webcast Ketchum is hosting on June 20 at 12:30 ET.

For health industry communicators, this is a [[wysiwyg_imageupload:128:]]
spring of high anxiety as the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the biggest piece of social legislation since Medicare, rests with nine justices on the Supreme Court.  That the ACA landed here is hardly surprising given the political controversy surrounding the law and mixed rulings in the lower courts.  While the healthcare industry is holding its collective breath about the Supreme Court decision, major players are moving forward in implementing key parts of the law.  Read full post »

Oleg Abdurashitov's picture

What Russian Patients Think of Healthcare

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These days, healthcare discussions start with [[wysiwyg_imageupload:123:]]
figures – so here are some basic Russian statistics.

According to UN estimates the average life expectancy in Russia is only 69 years (in the US, ranked only 49th out of 200 countries, life expectancy is over 78 years). To take one example, the mortality rate of vascular diseases is 900 cases on every 100,000 people – almost three-folds that of the US, but more importantly one-third higher than in neighboring Bulgaria and twice as much as Hungary. Similar patterns are observed in oncology, trauma and even infectious diseases.  Read full post »