• FDA is rethinking presentation of risk information in consumer drug ads – basically, because they know as well as you do that nobody really pays attention to them. Earlier this year, they issued a draft guidance regarding print advertising which would establish a “consumer brief summary.” They’re also weighing letting pharmas follow a “limited risks plus disclosure” strategy for TV ads instead of running the full major statement, which frequently sounds like it’s being read by an auctioneer and can easily burn up 60 seconds of airtime. This could make risk information more intelligible for consumers and TV advertising a lot more cost-effective for drug makers (which is probably why watchdog groups are howling). Here’s a nice little summary of the issues at play, and check out MM&M’s April cover story on the topic.
  • Mobihealthnews has one of their long must-read definitive round-up pieces up on digital value-adds and mobile health and whatnot, including some great examples and quotes from Monique, among other eminences. The upshot: “Pharma is emerging from a prolonged observational period with respect to mobile health” and beyond-the-pill digital solutions are moving from pilot projects spearheaded by innovation teams into the domain of commercial teams.
  • Researchers pored over President Reagan’s old speeches to identify verbal missteps that might have foreshadowed his Alzheimer’s – word repetition and nonspecific terms for specific nouns among them. You could see someone building a diagnostic app for dementia out of this kind of thing.
  •  No doubt relatedly, UnitedHealth has just bought Catamaran, a big PBM, thereby boosting their drug benefits division to the third-largest after Express Scripts and CVS Health, which were able to leverage their size for big discounts on those drugs.
  • Google’s Calico anti-aging unit struck up a partnership with UCSF to study integrated stress response. Fierce says “The deal stands out as just the second time Calico has publicly disclosed a disease target,” the other being nerve cell death.
  • Some numbers from an ACA update in JAMA: “from a standing start just 4 years ago, more than 600 accountable care organizations (ACOs) now exist, many with private insurance, as well as Medicare, sponsorship. Thousands of hospitals are seeking or have begun participating in bundled payment contracts. More than 5700 medical practices have earned certification by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as medical homes.”

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