Mental illnesses are common in the United States. Nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness (52.9 million in 2020). Mental illnesses include many different conditions that vary in severity, ranging from mild to moderate to severe. Suicidal ideation continues to increase among adults in the U.S. 4.58% of adults report having serious thoughts of suicide, an increase of 664,000 people from last year’s dataset. The national rate of suicidal ideation among adults has increased every year since 2011-2012.

An increasing number of headlines amplifying many incomplete data around telehealth have led industry stakeholders to extrapolate discrete data points about telehealth to the entire U.S. population. Using an economic framework to analyze national telehealth data. Only 25.6% of Americans utilized telehealth during the two years of the pandemic. Said another way, investments in the telehealth market have been made on the thesis that telehealth is preferred among most Americans. But the reality is that all these efforts are being dedicated to only a subset of the U.S. population. (Source: Trilliant Health Feb 2022)

Although reported COVID-19 deaths between Jan 1, 2020, and Dec 31, 2021, totaled 5·94 million worldwide, we estimate that 18·2 million (95% uncertainty interval 17·1–19·6) people died worldwide because of the COVID-19 pandemic (as measured by excess mortality) over that period. (Source: The Lancet). Overt politicization of the pandemic—and the speed with which falsehoods about all aspects of COVID-19 have spread online, over the airwaves, and through media—are significant reasons why the U.S. has suffered a far greater COVID-related death toll than other large, well-resourced nations.

The mortality rate from lung cancer has dropped in recent decades—by 56% in men from 1990 to 2019 and by 32% in women from 2002 to 2019. In recent years, early detection and treatment improvements have helped boost the 3-year survival rate for lung cancer from 21% in 2004 to 31% in 2015 through 2017. The 5-year survival rate has increased by 6% for distant-stage lung cancer, 33% for a regional-stage disease, and 60% for localized disease. But it’s still the leading cause of cancer deaths. (American Cancer Society’s ACS)

Routine cancer screening is essential to detect cancers early when it is most curable. The consequence of millions of people missing cancer screenings because of the COVID pandemic is a delay in detecting cancer, which results in cancer progressing to a more advanced stage. According to a study published in JAMA Oncology, a publication of the American Medical Association, nearly 22 million cancer screenings in the U.S. failed to happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

LEAD IN: Pharma budgets are being scrutinized like never before, and DTC/HCP marketers must justify every dollar spent. I’m getting more requests to measure and justify spending for specific bucket tactics, and I believe once politicians get focused, they will scrutinize drug pricing and force negotiations with Medicare tightening internal expenditures even more.

SUMMARY: CVS announced its plans to begin closing its doors–about 900 locations across the country. They know the future isn’t about selling 20 kinds of shampoos and vitamins. In the words of the company’s mission, its goal is to “make high-quality health and pharmacy services safe, affordable and easy to access.”