Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Porter Novelli checks the pulse of the electorate

How quickly can a presidential debate comment, observation or gaffe turn into a meme? According to PN Pulse, with seemingly lightening speed.

During yesterday’s final presidential debate of the 2012 election season, Porter Novelli’s digital analytics team once again provided real-time analysis and insight into the social media conversations surrounding the debate.  For the last month, the team has been analyzing the social media discussion leading up to, and during, the political debates, and posting insights on a Tumblr page  – – created just for the effort.

Our tracking has identified key themes – and memes – that arose during the debates (“Laughing Joe Biden” and “binders full of women”) and provided real-time insight into top debate topics as well as the overall social media volume and tenor.

In this video, Joe Shantz, SVP, digital analytics at Porter Novelli  explains more about PN Pulse. We invite you to have a look at PN Pulse uring the debate to learn how the voting public is reacting to the conversation.



The Good & the Bad News about the Obama Healthcare Bill

By Peter Pitts, former FDA Associate Commissioner and Porter Novelli’s global head of regulatory and health policy

The United States spends more per capita on health care than any other nation, and represents 50 percent of all global spending.  So when U.S. health reform is the subject – the world listens. After a feisty year of debate, Congress has passed health care reform legislation. Once enacted, it will increase the numbers of Americans with health insurance as well as both the size and scope of government. There’s plenty to understand and argue about – but the first thing we need to understand is that it presents some wonderful opportunities … if we understand where they are and can develop the tools to exploit them.

So here’s the good news

The most powerful tool to improve both access to and quality of American health care is innovation.

We have to embrace innovative technologies for medical records and prescribing. We need innovative clinical trial designs and molecular diagnostics so that we can develop better, more personalized medicines faster and for far less than the current $1 billion plus delivery charge. We need innovation in access and reimbursement policies that rewards speed-to-best-treatment rather than more lower-cost patients per hour.

Will more people have access to health insurance? They will and that’s a good thing. But, let’s be honest, we’re not talking about erasing the word “uninsured” from the American health care dictionary – we’re just redefining what it means.

And the bad news?

We have to embrace the likely reality that we, Americans, will all pay more in taxes (yes, all of us) eventually. And, ultimately, we will be okay with that. Americans are always willing to do what’s right for their fellow citizens. As Winston Churchill said, “Americans always want to do the right thing – after they have tried everything else.” Even so, many of our fellow Americans will receive less comprehensive health care benefits than they are receiving now.

The bill will vastly increase the size and scope of government while at the same time decreasing the stake that physicians have to practice both the art and science of medicine. It’s terrific that now insurance companies cannot turn anyone down because of a pre-existing condition. But not charging higher premiums for people who have them? Nice if you’ve got them – not so nice for everyone else. This isn’t an elegant solution and will have to change. Otherwise it’s just a slow march to a single-payer system.

Put the patient first

Instead of thinking short-term about the costs, it would be much better to put the patient first and find solutions long term. 30% of the costs in US healthcare are spent on hospital costs. If more medications were administered up front, a lot less people would need to be hospitalized. Doctors should also try to find other solutions by promoting a healthy lifestyle and encouraging people to eat healthy food.  And there is also the General Practitioner: if the American GPs would be given more power, the emphasis would be more on the patient. AND it costs a lot less to see the GP instead of a specialist.


But let’s not focus on commercial winners and losers. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize: better access to health care for all Americans. Innovation that focuses on creating a chronic health care culture that embraces prevention and prophylactic care. We will not survive as a nation of obese, hypertensive diabetics. Rather than wasting time on spin, let’s redouble our efforts on innovation.

Yes we can.


Peter Pitts goes Belgian

070810_Heathcare_Cartoons_Tease.300wAlways nice to have someone from one of our other offices join us for a day. Yesterday, we welcomed Peter J. Pitts, President of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest and Partner/Director of Global Healthcare at Porter Novelli. But that’s not all: Peter is also an Advisor to the Obama Administration FDA Transition Team, and is a member of the Board of Advisors of the New York State Health Foundation. And of course, we were all very keen to know more about who he is and what he does.

Peter joined Porter Novelli a couple of months ago, and his main focus is on international co-operation between the different Porter Novelli offices.  Healthcare is a global opportunity, and we cannot forget that Brussels, being the European hub, is hugely important for the European market.

We were all very intrigued by Peter’s stories, but there were a few things that really struck us:

  1. Americans think that there is a European healthcare system. And it’s for free. Wow, really? And how do we sign up? 🙂
  2. Americans want a new and cheap healthcare system. But this means extra taxes. “Extra taxes? No way, we don’t want to pay extra taxes!” Owkay. Hm. Neither do we. But that is like wanting to be the new King of Pop, but without the paparazzi. That doesn’t happen either. You just cannot have it all.
  3. In the last 50 years, life expectancy raised with 10 years. 10 years! That is amazing. But that is also the reason why more and more people get cancer and Alzheimer: they are typical age associated diseases.  Never thought of it that way.

Obese, diabetic and hypertensive people in the US cost a lot of money to society.  When they apply for a life insurance, the first questions are: do you smoke? What is your BMI? Do you exercise?  The focus in healthcare is shifting: it is less about selling pills, but more and more about care. Personal responsibility is becoming increasingly important: eat healthy, exercise, don’t drink too much alcohol but plenty of water. This way you cost a lot less to society.

The next frontier in healthcare will be that we will be taking pills to prevent diseases:  what disease are you likely to get, and what drug will be effective for you:  “the magical pill syndrome”.

People in the US are looking at Europe, because they think we have the perfect healthcare system. But we don’t have the perfect system. The best solution is to compare both systems, and get the best from both. The Americans can learn from us, and the other way around. And as said already: you cannot have it all. But we can try to come close.

Kathy Van Looy