About Richard Meyer

Passionate, award-winning Marketing and Media Executive with an MBA and 15+ years success implementing cutting-edge strategies. Career highlights include driving development/launch of a groundbreaking e-Marketing branding initiative for Eli Lilly product Cialis that led to Website becoming #1 online pharma destination (and #1 in prescription conversions), increasing leads 30% and ROI 38% for $1B manufacturer Medtronic

Are we losing the war against depression?

    • Depression is on the rise in the United States. From 2005 to 2015, depression rose significantly among Americans age 12 and older with the most rapid increases seen in young people. This is the first study to identify trends in depression by gender, income, and education over the past decade.

      • An estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 6.7% of all U.S. adults.
      • The prevalence of major depressive episode was higher among adult females (8.5%) compared to males (4.8%).

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Oncology DTC: Overpromising & Under delivering?

  • Oncology DTC ads promise a lot, but the therapies are not right for everyone.
  • Many of these treatments bring risks of painful — even life-threatening— side effects and carry total price tags pushing $1 million.
  • There are few objective guideposts to determine which patients should get which treatments, or even undergo genetic testing to determine whether they are among the minority of patients who might benefit substantially from immuno-oncology medicines. (Source:STAT News)

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ASCO: More about investors than patients?

  • The global market for oncology therapeutic medicines will reach as much as $200 billion by 2022, averaging 10 to 13 percent growth over the next five years, with the U.S. market reaching as much as $100 billion by 2022, averaging 12 to 15 percent growth.
  • Spending on cancer drugs has doubled over the past five years.
  • The average cost of a new drug released in 2017 was $150,000.
  • Cancer drug costs are expected to double again by 2022.
  • While cancer rates and rates of death have been steadily dropping, drug spending will go up.

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Treating cancer requires more than expensive drugs

  • The emotional challenges to the shock of a cancer diagnosis and fears about the future are often left untreated. More specific emotional concerns can range from apprehension about body image after treatment to periods of anxiety or depression, sadness, shock, horror, disbelief, frustration, distress, unhappiness, upset, worry, shame, fear.
  • A survey by the Teenage Cancer Trust has revealed that eight out of 10 young people find the mental health impact of cancer as hard to deal with as the treatment itself.
  • Patients who used information sources were more likely to have a higher locus of control over the course of their disease. These results show how important the doctor’s role is in the provision of emotional support.

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The increase in cancer drug prices is harming our patients and our health care system

  • Americans paid twice as much as Canadians for health care, but they didn’t get twice the benefit, according to a new study of patients with advanced colorectal cancer who lived, in some cases, mere miles from each other.
  • The increase in cancer drug prices in the last 15 years has many contributing factors and is harming our patients and our health care system.
  • With typical out-of-pocket expenses of 20% to 30%, the financial burden of cancer treatment would be $20,000 to 30,000 a year, nearly half of the average annual household income in the United States. Many patients (estimated 10% to 20%) may decide not to take the treatment or may compromise significantly on the treatment plan. Source: Journal of Oncology Practice

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Putting drug prices in the spotlight misses the big picture

  • Despite the media’s attention to high drug prices our national healthcare costs are going to continue to climb rapidly.
  • Spending on ambulatory care, which includes ER and outpatient hospital services, also played a role in increased overall costs. Annual spending on ambulatory care swelled from $381.5 billion in 1996 to $706.4 billion in 2013. This increase, about $324 billion, was higher than any of the other five types of care analyzed.
  • A survey revealed that only 20.6 percent of people met the total recommended amounts of exercise — about 23 percent of all surveyed men and 18 percent of surveyed women.
  • Medical costs linked to obesity were estimated to be $147 billion in 2008. Annual medical costs for people who were obese were $1,429 higher than those for people of normal weight in 2006.

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What’s three more months of life worth?

  • The cost of new anti-cancer drugs increased more than fivefold from 2006 to 2015.
  • Anticancer medications account for the lion’s share of global drug spending, and the average price per month of these drugs is known to have more than doubled in recent years
  • Cost is not connected with benefit, and cost is going up quickly, and benefit is highly variable.
  • ASCO and other groups are supporting efforts to make cancer drug costs relate to their effectiveness.

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