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  • Among FDA’s priorities for 2016 is reevaluating regulations on prescription drug marketing – likely reflecting, in part, mounting legal questions about FDA’s ability to regulate off-label promotion.
  • Speaking of FDA, the agency recently issued a policy urging employees to “use social media technologies to enhance communication, collaboration and information exchange in support of FDA’s mission to protect and promote public health.” Which might elicit some guffaws from pharma marketers trying to use social media within the constraints of FDA policy.
  • FDA’s been busy with NDAs – they approved 45 novel drugs in 2015, the most since 1996.
  • Sensor tech for elder care is proliferating as the connected home begins to take shape.
  • The era of outcomes-based marketing is upon us, as pay-for-performance deals become the norm and beyond-the-pill tools and services “allow pharma to have much closer relationships with individual patients.”
  • Insurers offering plans through the Affordable Care Act insurance marketplace are dangling free doctor visits as a differentiator. They’re also looking for ways to get patients to use their new insurance amid mounting indications that many defer care for cost reasons – and in a value-driven world, they need to head off problems early, when they’re less expensive. Healthcare.gov saw strong growth in enrollments this year – at least in part because the penalties for the uninsured begin to bite in 2016 (though there’s anecdotal evidence that many will eat the fine rather than buy insurance they see as too expensive). But the ACA still faces challenges – here’s the problem areas to watch this year.
  • Augmented reality was the adtech trend that wasn’t in 2015. Will consumer packaged goods make it happen in 2016?
  • Medicare is cracking down on health systems that fail to update their doctor directories. For consumers seeking to understand if their preferred provider is in network, “it’s the Wild West.”
  • The poster boys of price hikes, Martin Shkreli and J. Michael Pearson, may be indisposed for the time being, but the consensus is that pressure on pharmas over drug prices will persist in 2016 regardless.
  • Poor measurement has been holding back mobile advertising, but a subsidiary of advertising giant WPP says it’s figured out how to quantify mobile ad recall. Meanwhile, watchdogs are worrying about the privacy implications of smarter mobile advertising around medicines.
  • 2015 was a big year in the war against cancer. Here’s a roundup of the highlights.
  • A nurse writes that EHR data entry “has morphed into more than an account of our work; it has replaced the work itself.”
  • Another day, another devastating WSJ investigative piece on Theranos
  • Two longstanding Interpublic Group agencies – ICC and Pace – have been merged under the name Cure. We hope they can get Robert Smith for their brand launch!

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