Last week the Departments of Health Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury proposed a rule that would “expand the availability of short-term, limited-duration health insurance by allowing consumers to buy plans providing coverage for any period of less than 12 months, rather than the current maximum period of less than three months.” This will not only provide affordable coverage to Americans who may not have been able to afford current premiums and options, or lacked access to choices that properly matched their needs, but it will “increase competition, choice, and access to lower-cost healthcare options for Americans.”
While the purpose of these health plans was for temporary coverage, but due to their affordability, access to such plans “has become increasingly important as premiums have more than doubled between 2013 and 2017 in health plans on the Federal Health Insurance Exchange,” the news release stated. The short-term, limited-duration insurance does not have to comply with federal requirements for individual health insurance coverage.
Health and Human Services Secretary and former Lilly USA president Alex Azar stated: “Americans need more choices in health insurance so they can find coverage that meets their needs. The status quo is failing too many Americans who face skyrocketing costs and fewer and fewer choices. The Trump Administration is taking action so individuals and families have access to quality, affordable healthcare that works for them.”
In the spring of 2018, Apple plans to premiere AC Wellness, independent medical centers for its employees and dependents offering concierge-like healthcare. As first reported by CNBC yesterday, Apple “quietly published a website, acwellness.com, with more details about its initiative and a careers page listing jobs.” While little information is currently available, AC Wellness’ website boasts that their Network will combine technology, high-quality care, and a unique patient experience to drive engagement and achieve exceptional health outcomes. The website also advertises for career opportunities. Positions to be filled include Health Partner, Physicians, Care Navigator, and Nurses, among others.
This initiative comes shortly after Tim Cook commented about Apple’s ability to make “significant contributions” to health care earlier this month during a shareholders meeting. Cook shared that the tech innovator is in a “great position”, being able to leverage its consumer-friendly approach, as reported by CNBC.
Apple has already been collaborating with the FDA to improve regulations on digital health products. Other coordinators announced last summer as a part of the FDA’s Pre-cert pilot program were Fitbit, Johnson & Johnson, Pear Therapeutics, Phosphorus, Roche, Samsung, Tidepool, and Verily. The work is a part of the Digital Health Innovation Action Plan.
As a company whose products impact the lives of millions of people, many of them managing serious health conditions, we are aware of how societal trends have transformed the way people relate to their health and have evolved their expectations of companies like ours.
So when we decided to launch a new brand positioning, we not only wanted to build an identity that spanned specialty and generics and unified our businesses around the world after decades of acquisitions, but also one that positioned us as a trustworthy partner to the patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals we serve.
To look within and beyond our medicine cabinet with a fresh perspective, we got out of our laboratories and into the real world, asking questions and listening carefully to the answers. From 2015 to 2017, we talked to more than 21,000 patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals in 20 countries. The simplest insights gained from this research have proved to be the most profound:
Few things matter more to people than their health, and they want to feel in control of their journey at every stage of life, both in terms of prevention and in the challenges of managing a disease. They use digital resources to seek out information they can understand from sources they can trust.
Consumers’ experience of service in other categories has created high expectations. They are looking for personalization, value, convenience, and relationships. Half of people want pharmaceutical companies to connect with them—online and on mobile—to provide on-demand resources and services.
Health means much more than diseases. We learned that people want a holistic experience that addresses their whole person: body, mind, and spirit. This includes health inputs like nutrition and medicine, health outputs like confidence and vitality, and long-term health outcomes like resilience and happiness.
These insights have proved vital as Teva has gone through an important transformation, unifying the company while also becoming simpler, leaner, and more agile. It’s not easy to form a new understanding of a company that’s been around since 1901, and launching a new brand during a restructuring isn’t necessarily intuitive. But our research helped us to understand that consumers expect us to support their health journeys, leveraging our experience to go beyond medicines to the effects of their conditions on their whole lives. And they also want to know about the company itself—insights about the character of our people, what we care about, and how we give back.
Our new brand identity emphasizes that Teva is warm, approachable, accessible, and modern—a company that not only makes high-quality products but also one that listens to the people it serves. Ever mindful of our financial situation, we used existing resources in new ways, focusing on evolving the most impactful touch points to people—packaging and digital—while taking advantage of portfolio optimization, regulatory requirements such as serialization, product launches, office moves, and planned events where possible. Through it all, we’ve focused on evolving our value proposition, incorporating storytelling into our digital content offering, and making our new brand a vehicle for unification and simplification.
We’re implementing the new global brand from the bottom up, through a hyperlocal implementation approach that goes market by market with a meticulous test-and-learn rollout grounded in data and insights. To build local relevance into a global framework, we are evolving our value proposition to reflect the nuances of each market, including our business model and portfolio; the local healthcare system; and the specific needs of that market’s consumers, patients, and healthcare professionals. We started with our own employees, soft-launching the brand internally in 2016 to assess the resonance and relevance of the new positioning in different cultures and healthcare systems. Since then we’ve launched in France, Russia, and Argentina, and are rolling out the new brand in Canada and the U.S. this month, with additional launches planned throughout 2018.
In the U.S., for example, where people are more likely to suffer from chronic issues (65% versus 60% globally), we’ve partnered with Mount Sinai Hospital to meet the needs of those with multiple chronic conditions. And in Canada, where 37% of people are caregivers—supporting loved ones who could not cope without them—we’ve teamed up with caregiver advocacy groups to better support that underserved population.
And to deliver the credible online health information that patients around the world are seeking, we’ve piloted a series of articles, videos, and podcasts with the help of Healthline and the Slate Media Group. In the coming months, we’ll introduce a branded portal—first to the U.S. and then to the rest of the world—as well as a documentary film demonstrating what it’s like to be a patient with chronic conditions.
Our research has shown that digital is a cost-effective, convenient, and preferred way for us to bring value to patients and caregivers through information and resources that go beyond medicine, looking at health conditions from the point of view of patients in the context of their lives—not in the context of symptoms and side effects—which is critical to delivering on our brand promise of helping them to live better days.
Beyond gathering valuable insights and information—and meeting a lot of interesting people—our research is helping us become a simpler and more patient-centered organization, aiming to increase the trust people have in us to support their health needs.
Click here to read Teva’s news release about their new brand positioning and visual identity.
DTC Perspectives, Inc., the leading conference, training and publishing company for the consumer marketing of pharmaceutical and healthcare products, is proud to announce its 10th annual class of inductees into the DTC Hall of Fame. The 2018 class will be honored live at an induction ceremony sponsored by PatientPoint, at the Sheraton Boston in Boston, MA as part of DTC Perspectives’ 2018 DTC National Conference. (Separate tickets are also available.)
“PatientPoint and I congratulate the 2018 DTC Hall of Fame inductees. Their extraordinary achievements in advancing the spectrum of patient communications has driven the industry forward, and for that, we are all grateful. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments at the DTC National Conference.” Says Linda Ruschau, Chief Client Officer of PatientPoint.
The DTC Hall of Fame is designed to honor individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in the advancement of direct-to-consumer marketing. Industry-wide nominations are collected and then the final four inductees are determined by DTC Perspectives’ executive and editorial teams.
“DTC marketing has been practiced successfully for more than twenty years and over this time it has grown to become a very important component of the pharmaceutical industry’s success,” says Bob Ehrlich, CEO of DTC Perspectives. “It is important to recognize those individuals who have shaped DTC advertising and significantly contributed to the communication of important healthcare information directly to patients.”
As part of the DTC National, the DTC Hall of Fame festivities include a cocktail party followed by a formal induction ceremony on April 18th presented by PatientPoint, with video tributes and live introductions from industry leaders, as well as an address by the Hall of Fame inductees. Each inductee is also profiled in the annual conference guide publication.
The DTC National is a “must-attend” event for pharmaceutical marketers, agency executives, media partners, market researchers, and solution providers looking to further advance patient communications. Please visit our website, http://www.dtc-national.com, for complete agenda information, available sponsorship and congratulatory opportunities, and additional details.
Celebrate with the Industry’s Best
Congratulate the Hall of Fame inductees in-person and in our publications! DTC Perspectives offers reserved tables with seating for 10 at the Top 25/Hall of Fame and Advertising Awards ceremonies as well as congrats ads opportunities in our DTC Perspectives Magazine/DTC National Conference Guide, on our website, and in Email announcements. Click here to view awards packages and congratulate a Top Marketer/DTC Hall of Fame inductee today.
DTC Perspectives, the leading forum for direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising thought leaders names its 17th Annual list of the “Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year.”
This year’s class will be honored during a joint ceremony dinner recognizing the 2018 Top 25 DTC Marketers and Hall of Fame class on the evening of April 18 sponsored by PatientPoint, at the 2018 DTC National taking place in Boston. It includes representatives from more than 15 different manufacturing companies, with each marketer championing both the interests of the patient and brand.
“PatientPoint and I congratulate the 2018 Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year. These industry leaders have positioned their brand as true partners to patients throughout the care journey with innovative solutions that enrich the entire healthcare experience. We look forward to honoring their impressive achievements at the DTC National Conference and partnering with them on continued success,” says Linda Ruschau, Chief Client Officer of PatientPoint.
The Top 25 DTC Marketers of the Year for 2018 are…
Jason Alongi, Consumer Marketing, RESTASIS, Allergan
Jackie Balassone, Director, GI Marketing, Salix Pharmaceuticals
Bonnie Ben-Shmuel, Director, Planning and Innovation, Pfizer
“These elite pharmaceutical marketing professionals are this year’s top contributors to the advancement of patient outcomes via direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical education and marketing,” adds DTC Perspectives Chairman and CEO Robert Ehrlich. “We would like to recognize the faces behind prominent DTC campaigns, because their hard work and dedication to fostering the industry is often not recognized. The awardees were selected from many worthy candidates.”
Click here to register for the DTC National Conference or contact the DTC Perspectives office at 770-302-6273.
Celebrate with the Industry’s Best
Congratulate the Top 25 DTC Marketers in-person and in our publications! DTC Perspectives offers reserved tables with seating for 10 at the Top 25/Hall of Fame and Advertising Awards ceremonies as well as congrats ads opportunities in our DTC Perspectives Magazine/DTC National Conference Guide, on our website, and in Email announcements. Click here to view awards packages and congratulate a Top Marketer/DTC Hall of Fame inductee today.
Print congrats ad deadline: Friday, March 30, 2018
While branded DTC Ads dominate the spending, there are some drug makers investing heavily in disease education. Most do it because when they have a drug for the disease coming out shortly or are in the introductory physician awareness phase for a newly approved drug. They usually have the only drug available for the condition or are the dominant drug in a category.
Disease awareness ads help on many fronts. First, they create patient conversations during the sell in phase between patient and doctor. By not mentioning the brand, the drug maker will not embarrass the doctor if they have not yet heard about it or tried it with patients. Second, drug makers can give insurers some pressure to put the drug soon to be approved or just approved on formulary. Finally, disease education ads can be more flexible creatively as there is no fair balance.
One of the most interesting new ads is on the lesser known effects of Parkinson’s disease. We all know about the tremors from Parkinson’s. I was unaware that one of the effects of Parkinson’s is experiencing delusions. Acadia has launched a compelling disease education campaign on the delusions and hallucinations experienced by sufferers. They call it “Secret Visitors” which was created with their agency STRIKEFORCE. We see those “visitors” in the spot through the eyes of a man who hallucinates and are told over 50% of disease sufferers experience such hallucinations or delusions. The first part of the 60 second ad is shot in a low light as the man is seeing things that are not there.
The final part of the spot is then seen in normal daylight as the voice over discusses treatment options and the man sees his grandchild outside coming for a visit. “Secret Visitors” is a very engaging spot that highlights the effectiveness of disease education ads. Devoting a full 60 seconds to telling a compelling story is what makes a disease education spot a good DTC choice. Acadia has the only approved drug to treat Parkinson’s delusions called Nuplazid, which was approved in the United States in April 2016.
It is not uncommon for drug makers to hold off on DTC until the physician community has been detailed and opinion leaders get some prescribing experience. Allowing the 18 months from approval to the disease education spot, as in this case, is not atypical for a first in class specialty drug. I do not know if a branded spot will follow as that may depend on whether a competitor will enter and when. Nuplazid is a premium priced drug costing about $3000 a month at retail. While not at the very top of the cost curve, $3000 a month is at the higher end of Rx drugs. Of course most patients are insured or get patient assistance so their cost is much less.
Nuplazid may be a blockbuster for Acadia, with some analysts projecting a billion dollar potential. At that sales level, we can expect DTC advertising to continue beyond the well crafted introductory disease education campaign. DTC television used to be for big high incidence disease categories only, but the recent trend is for small market premium priced drugs to do DTC television. Acadia continues the trend and is off to a good start with this campaign.
Amazon, JP Morgan, and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway have announced a joint venture to improve healthcare coverage for their three companies. There are a lot of unknowns as to what this means for the broader healthcare sector. Is this just the start of Amazon disrupting how insurance is provided? Or, is it more limited to squeezing company costs for their combined employee base of 1.2 million?
Perhaps this is the start of a massive transformation where employees are provided their own network of providers employed by the new venture. It is unlikely that Amazon will stop just with the three companies serving their own employees. Bezos, Buffett and Dimon are the A-list of CEOs and most likely think they can disrupt how insurance and delivery of medical services are done. While America is great at offering speedy service for any test or procedure needed, there is high cost of those services. Consumers are seeing rising deductibles, premiums and co-pays and we have an unsustainable trajectory. Companies do not want to accept the rapid growth of their healthcare costs and are looking for ways to get more for their money.
I am looking forward to seeing how these three leading companies find ways to provide services at lower cost. Some players may have to pay a price for that as many smaller provider companies may fall victim to being squeezed out of business by the new giant disrupter. Will we see Amazon Cancer Centers across the United States? Will our routine lab tests be available with Amazon Prime? Will Amazon be negotiating prices and supplying our drugs? Amazon should not be underrated for its ability to create value services that we love. Few of us love our current health insurance companies. Most of us like Amazon.
Changing a $1.4 trillion system is not going to happen quickly. There are so many complexities across the Byzantine American fee for service model. The lobbyists for insurance companies, drug makers, physician and hospital networks are very powerful and will defend their turfs aggressively. Lots of companies are making money in our inefficient system and anyone benefiting will fight to survive. Patients are the ones desperately in need of a break in cost. Amazon has the clout to challenge the status quo but even they will see how difficult major change will be.