Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Ending medical reversal

Source: Ending medical reversal

From the book review

Guest post by Vinayak K. Prasad, MD, MPH, and Adam S. Cifu, MD

prasadFor doctors, it is common to have some doubt about a new medical test, procedure or drug—even one which is widely hailed as remarkable or a game changer. It is not cynicism but a healthy skepticism towards marketing over substance. Doctors want to see the evidence that a drug actually works rather than just a good story about why it should work.

Often, however, this skepticism does not last. After a few months, still without any evidence, the doctor finds herself buying in, just a little, to the hype. OK, let me just see what everyone is talking about, she thinks. She begins recommending the drug herself. She still thinks of herself as cautious and conservative—while her colleagues use the treatment widely, she thinks it has a more narrow and defined role. Probably the pill does not work for everyone, but in a select group of people.

A few more years go by, and she gets comfortable with the once-hyped treatment. She now knows how to manage its complications; she thinks she has a good sense of who it benefits; and she considers it a part of her practice.

Then, one day, she opens one of the nation’s top medical journals and discovers that the treatment she was once skeptical of, but slowly grew to accept, simply does not work. A well-done clinical trial, probably the one which should have been done before the treatment even came to market, compared the treatment to the prior therapy, and found no benefit.”

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September 18, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Sex and violence may not really sell products

From the 21 July 2015 Ohio State news release

Researchers analyzed the results of 53 different experiments (a so-called meta-analysis) involving nearly 8,500 people, done over 44 years. All of these experiments examined some facet of the question of whether sexual or violent media content could help sell advertised products.

When all the results are considered together, the overall conclusion, with some caveats, is that programs featuring violence and sex aren’t the ideal context for effective advertising, said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University.

It’s not that people don’t pay attention to sex and violence in the media, Bushman said. In fact, an evolutionary perspective would say it is just the opposite.

“People are so focused on the sex and violence they see in the media that they pay less attention to the advertising messages that appear along with it,” Bushman said

Read the entire article here

July 25, 2015 Posted by | Psychology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attractive names sustain increased vegetable intake in schools

 

From the 17 September 2012 article at EurekAlert

Attractive, catchy names can compel youngsters to eat more vegetables

IMAGE: He is a professor of marketing, Cornell University.

Click here for more information.

The age-old parental struggle of convincing youngsters to eat their fruits and vegetables has some new allies: Power Punch Broccoli, X-Ray Vision Carrots — and a host of catchy names for entrees in school cafeterias. Cornell University researchers studied how a simple change, such as using attractive names, would influence elementary-aged children’s consumption of vegetables.

IMAGE: He is a professor of behavioral economics, Cornell University.

Click here for more information.

In the first study, plain old carrots were transformed into “X-ray Vision Carrots.” 147 students ranging from 8-11 years old from 5 ethnically and economically diverse schools participated in tasting the cool new foods. Lunchroom menus were the same except that carrots were added on three consecutive days. They found, for example, that by naming plain old carrots “X-ray vision carrots,” fully 66 percent of the carrots were eaten, far greater than the 32 percent eaten when labeled “Food of the Day” — and the 35 percent eaten when unnamed.

 

September 17, 2012 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , | Leave a comment

Is summertime bringing new wave of ads for artificial knees?

Knee replacement

Knee replacement (Photo credit: Mundoo)

By  Gary Schwitzer in health care marketingMedical devices at HealthNewsReview.org (6 June 2012)

After giving two examples of recent direct marketing advertising (to potential patients) for knee replacements he proceeds…

More than year ago I wrote about hip joint TV ads.  At that time, Naomi Freundlich wrote:

Together, hip and knee replacement surgeries already represent the largest hospital expense for Medicare. And, according to an article in Time magazine, the money spent on these two procedures is expected to reach $65.2 billion by 2015.

There is no doubt that part of Medicare reform will involve looking at ways to reduce this cost. One approach is to move the choice of device away from vague “physician preference” and toward evidence-based criteria…

he American Joint Replacement Registry was created recently, and just this January began a pilot project collecting hip and knee replacement information from 16 representative hospitals. In a statement, the organization (made up of surgeons, executives from the device industry, payers and patient representatives) said that its “long-term goal is to capture data from 90 percent of U.S. hospitals where hip and knee arthroplasty procedures are performed, which amounts to between 5,000 and 6,000 different hospitals, in the next 5 years.”

In the end, marketing devices directly to consumers is antithetical to these other measures that are designed to promote evidence-based treatments. …

Unless insurers—both public and private—start using evidence-based decision making to set coverage for new hip implant devices, the number of younger patients undergoing more expensive procedures will likely rise—sometimes for the wrong reasons.

June 12, 2012 Posted by | health care | , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrity endorsements of prescription drugs

From the 7 July 2011 KevinMD column by Richard Meyer

Boniva continues to use Sally Field as a celebrity spokesperson for their product but as John Mack pointed out, should any prescription drugs be paying celebrities to endorse their products?  Well, according to an Ace Metrix study the answer to that is “probably no.”

The Ace Metrix study found of more than 2,600 ads that celebrity ads do not perform any better than non-celebrity ads and in some case perform much worse.  In their study whether or not a celebrity endorses a product was unimportant in determining whether an ad resonated with viewers.  In fact compared with industry norms relatively few celebrity ads were able to earn performance marks above the industry averages…

Read entire article

July 29, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Pharma on Facebook / Google+ in Medicine and Pharma?

From the 8th July Pharmaphorum blog posting by Wendy Blackburn

There’s been much discussion around the pharmaceutical industry’s use of social media, especially Facebook. Is it worth the risk for pharma to engage in this uncontrolled space? Will consumers really “like” a medication in a place where they’re more likely to play Farmville? And what options does pharma have considering Facebook’s recently-announced policy changes?…

[The post goes on to say there are at least 150 pharmaceutical related Facebook pages , including those by corporations, brands (those dedicated to a single presription drug), unbranded pages (usually centered around a condition as diabetes), and those including games and/or applications.]

[The article goes on to discuss the legalities and Facebook policies concerning comments at pharma Facebook pages.]

[Some excerpts]

Facebook changes the game for pharma

“Starting today, Facebook will no longer allow admins of new pharma pages to disable commenting on the content their page shares with people on Facebook,” Facebook told pharmas in a May 17 email posted by Intouch Solutions on its blog. “Pages that currently have commenting disabled will no longer have this entitlement after August 15th. Subject to Facebook’s approval, branded pages solely dedicated to a prescription drug may (continue to) have commenting functionality removed.”

– Medical Marketing & Media Magazine….

For companies that decide they still want to be on Facebook, there are a number of options:

1. 24/7 monitoring and moderation or a “community management” model

2. Moderation applications that place a temporary “hold” on comments prior to publication

3. Branded Facebook pages, where Facebook will still allow comment disabling

4. Personal representation or company “spokesperson”

5. Advertising

6. Word filters


Google+ in Medicine and Pharma? 

From the 14 July 2011 Science Roll item
There have been some articles and blog entries lately focusing on whether Google+ could be used in medicine or pharma. I’ve been trying to use it more actively in the past couple of days and it’s still a question for me to figure out whether I should separate my professional Facebook and Google+ activities. A few comments from fellow bloggers:

Could Google+ be Pharma’s Answer to Social Media Marketing?

“Google launched a beta version of its own social network just a couple of days ago, Google+.  While many news reports over the past day or so  suggest that Google+ offers some great features, most also suggest that the network is probably no reason for people to abandon their FaceBook page as an alternative.

However, could Google+ offer a FaceBook alternative for pharma companies?  “…..

[Click here for the rest of the Science Roll article]

Google+ is a social media site (currently in beta & for invited users only) similar to Facebook.

An introductory video, review….

July 12, 2011 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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