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Kinship Is Powerful in The Fight Against River Blindness: from The Carter Center

From Carter Center News, spring 2016 When it comes to eliminating disease, sometimes it’s not only what you know, it’s also who you know. River blindness is so pervasive in Africa that many global experts have believed it could only be controlled, not eliminated. But Uganda intends to rid itself of the parasite that causes the disease, and it’s using one of its greatest resources to do it: women. River blindness is an infection that causes intense itching, skin discoloration, rashes, and eye disease that can lead to visual loss and permanent blindness. It is spread by the bites of […]

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New business book shares a unique approach to facilitating creative innovation groups: N-of-8, by Mark Stinson   Recently updated !

Link to Press Release on N-of-8 book debut   Mark Stinson, a healthcare marketing veteran and brand Innovator for medical companies, has launched a new book, N-of-8: A Creative Group Facilitation Model for Health, Science, and Technology Brands. In his book, Stinson shares methods to shift from just brainstorming, focus groups, and advisory boards to creative groups that truly innovate. That’s why the model is called N-of-8. Stinson writes about his global experiences and case studies from facilitating groups all over the U.S., as well as leading markets in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. During its debut […]

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People talking to people: It’s still how to change the world’s standards of practice

In my pharma client workshops, we are often focused on how to change clinical practice in a specific disease class. It often starts with a basic question of how to communicate new information, updated studies, or evidence-based guidelines. Some innovations spread fast. How do you speed the ones that don’t? Here is a very compelling story from Atul Gawande on how practice changed in a very personal way:   In 1968, The Lancet published the results of a modest trial of what is now regarded as among the most important medical advances of the twentieth century. It wasn’t a new […]


3 Ways to Be More Creative With Healthcare Advertising – by Amy Hansen

This story first appeared in the March 28 issue of Adweek magazine. Amy Hansen (@hcb_austincd) is svp and creative director at HCB Health.    Sewer inspector. Embalmer. Gastroenterologist. Tough jobs for sure. But try healthcare advertising for a week. Just try to be creative in an environment where important safety information takes up :35 of a :60 TV spot, where rules for short-form messaging run 15 pages long, where every print ad, website, banner and video must pass a rigorous risk mitigation assessment by a medical legal review team. The threat of an FDA letter looms large in the lives […]

N-of-8 for managed care story development

Last month, I had the opportunity to facilitate a workshop with 40 market access account executives, sales managers, and marketing team leaders to create a new presentation for health plan formulary decision-makers. Using the N-of-8 story development technique, we divided into five teams to explore different scenarios for improving the contract position of their specialty pharmacy brand. The consolidated output will be used to develop new slides, data references, and materials. In addition, I led two other managed care projects recently: Interviews with case managers at health plans on the role of patient support programs in drug evaluations (with a […]

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My new book N-of-8 just published this week.   Recently updated !

In this book you’ll learn how to shift from just brainstorming, focus groups, and advisory boards to create groups that truly innovate. That’s why the model is called N-of-8. Since the publication of my first book, ForwardFast, I’ve benefited from many of your comments and suggestions. So in this N-of-8 book, I’ve applied a conversational style to present a workshop-in-print. And I’ve added more case study examples, key-point summaries, and actual templates and guides to make the model actionable. Thanks to many clients and friends, the book has already enjoyed a tremendous response. In the Amazon Kindle Store, it was […]


Creative inspiration: Museum of Musical Instruments

During a layover in Phoenix on a recent trip, Jenny and I visited this fascinating collection of musical instruments from all over the world. Around every corner, there was another surprising way of making song. And in every room, there was another story of how music impacts our lives. We especially loved the showcases of Johnny Cash’s personal guitars, Roy Orbison’s handwritten lyrics of Pretty Woman,” and the drum set played by The Who’s Keith Moon. Read more about the museum at      

Summary: Navigating Regulatory Expectations: Lessons Learned for Advertising and Promotion

In summary, I presented seven relevant cases and some key learnings for promotional guidance. In a new class, the mechanism of action needs to be pulled through to show that it actually made a difference in the clinical trial results. In the pharmacokinetics, we saw that a difference on label of PK performance could have promotionally relevant and competitively viable differences in dosing. In drug delivery and release, we saw that the profile of the therapeutic window could be promotional, allowed, if it were also shown to be patient-relevant in either efficacy or side effects. When we looked at dermatological […]