Maker of Trulance debuts campaign featuring "Poop Troop" | Merck video highlights cures as important innovations | Partnerships between pharma and R&D groups growing
April 21, 2017
SmartBrief for Health Care Marketers
Agency Update
Maker of Trulance debuts campaign featuring "Poop Troop"
Synergy launched an unbranded campaign featuring the "Poop Troop," a group of animated emojis intended to help patients better describe their constipation issues. The ad comes in response to recent FDA approvals of products competing with Synergy's Trulance, as well as a shift in gastrointestinal pharma marketing to a more humorous and lighthearted tone.
Medical Marketing & Media (4/17) 
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Merck video highlights cures as important innovations
In a video uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday, Merck states that "95% of people don't think of new medicines as the most impactful inventions" after asking people on the streets of New York and San Francisco what invention they're most anticipating. After a series of humorous answers, the mother of a 3-year-old in remission says she is waiting for a cure.
Medical Marketing & Media (4/19) 
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Trends, Research & Stats
Partnerships between pharma and R&D groups growing
According to a Deloitte report, the number of pharma research and development partnerships has more than doubled since 2004, from 4,000 to 9,000. Neil Lesser of Deloitte suggests greater value placed on drugs by providers and health plans, complexity of specialty drugs, and emphasis on patient-reported outcomes and other sources of data have all contributed to a more complicated drug-development environment.
Medical Marketing & Media (4/19) 
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Lannett hikes prices amid public scrutiny
Generic-drug maker Lannett is raising the price on dicyclomine, a drug for irritable bowel syndrome, from $5.90 to $19.95 for a 100-capsule bottle. Last year, the company raised the prices on asthma and emphysema drug terbutaline from $136 to $435 per 100 tablets and on antipsychotic drug fluphenazine from $43.50 to $870 per 100 capsules.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (4/14) 
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Direct programmatic rising as brands seek more placement input
Brand safety concerns are leading to an increase in direct programmatic buying, with eMarketer predicting that 56% of programmatic ads will be bought directly this year. "Clients are moving their dollars to private marketplaces with intention of bringing transparency into the transaction, knowing from whom you are buying and what you are buying," MediaMath's Julia Welch says.
Adweek (4/19) 
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Voices from the Inside
Physicians face challenges dealing with patient tracking data
Physicians are seeing more patients who are tracking their health data using wearable devices and are willing to share the information to improve their health. Not all physicians are accepting this type of data, said John Sharp of the Personal Connected Health Alliance, and he and others say processing the data could be challenging because it may not flow smoothly into electronic health record systems.
Medical Economics (4/17) 
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Interactive Ads & Technology
Facebook Messenger 2.0 creates a bot-friendly world for advertisers
(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Facebook's second version of Messenger will include chatbots from brands such as Apple Music, Spotify, Subway and the Food Network and includes a discover tab that lets users find bots related to their location and interests; chat extensions will also enable more than one person to speak to a bot at a time. The app will also feature QR codes to help consumers on the go access information or new experiences from advertisers.
Adweek (4/19),  CNET (4/18),  ZDNet (4/18),  Marketing Land (4/18) 
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Policy Pulse
Political groups shift ad campaigns to support ACA replacement advocates
In an effort to secure the re-election of House proponents of Speaker Paul Ryan's Affordable Care Act replacement plan, political groups aligned with Ryan and President Donald Trump have shifted ad spending from campaigns attacking critics to those supporting allies. On Monday, America First Policies launched a $3 million TV and digital campaign, while American Action Network pledged $5 million to support Republicans who support the plan.
Morning Consult (4/17) 
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House bill would lift FDA restrictions on off-label marketing
Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., sponsored legislation that would limit the FDA's authority to restrict off-label drug marketing. Griffith's bill would lift restrictions in FDA guidance on what drugmakers and sales representatives can say and when they can say it.
STAT (tiered subscription model)/Pharmalot (4/18) 
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Industry Insight
Marketo's CMO on why storytelling matters
Marketo's Chandar Pattabhiram explains how the brand has shifted its strategy away from the science of marketing to focusing on engagement through storytelling. "People don't buy products -- they buy stories, they buy emotional connections," the chief marketing officer says.
Advertising Age (4/19) 
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Coalition News
Kamp says there are three potential threats to medical marketing
When Congress returns from recess, agencies, media and clients need to pay close attention to moves its members might make that could affect the marketing of medical products, according to a commentary from Coalition for Healthcare Communication Executive Director John Kamp posted April 17 on the Coalition's blog. "If pricing and transparency bills come to votes this year, medical marketing will be lumped in among other provisions. Marketing changes, if they come at all, likely will appear in one to three main forms, each with its unique dangers to industry's bottom lines." Read more.
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Technology might change what I call 'think jobs' and the 'do jobs,' but the 'feel jobs' of building emotional connection and storytelling are the jobs of tomorrow that technology cannot change.
Marketo Chief Marketing Officer Chandar Pattabhiram on storytelling in marketing. Read more from Advertising Age.
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