March madness is almost over, but my own seems to continue. What's that about? And I don't think the groundhog was right this year, Spring seems to be here in full force, at least by the looks of all the blossoms on the trees. This coming week, the cherry blossoms will be doing their stuff. Time to come to Washington!
And here is a little of what caught my eye this week that was interesting and a little offbeat:
- Trust for America's Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Release Report on Food Safety – TFAH and RWJF released a report entitled "A Blueprint for Fixing the Food Safety System at the Department of Health and Human Services" which calls for the ultimate splitting of the FDA into separate food and drug functions. The report cites a number of inadequacies in the current system and makes several recommendations. This should make some in Congress very happy.
- Tracking REMS, Citizens Petitions and Legislation – And speaking of Congress, since we have to, I wanted to bring to your attention a legislative tracking effort at the FDA Law Blog. They have actually three separate tracking documents – one for REMS programs, one for Citizen's Petitions and one for Legislation. Very handy stuff that I wish I had done!
- The Nose Knows – This happened a few weeks ago, but only came to my attention this week and provides an example of pharma entering the digital space creatively. On March 11, Schering-Plough launched Don't Blow It – The Nasal Allergey Game. It is an online educational game for allergy sufferers feating Ronnie Nose who is a cartoon nose wearing red sneakers. For every new player of the game, a low-allergenic tree (not the kind we have blooming right now in Washington) will be planted through American Forests – numbering up to 20,000. So by playing the game, you are helping the green cause. There isalso a Facebook and Twitter component.
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Clinical Trials PSA – I've always thought YouTube an ideal vehicle for clinical trials recruitment, particularly to target specific audiences where you have someone who looks and acts like me talk me into a clinical trial JDRFchose a more traditional route, but still, it is the kind of thing that in the future, I think, there will be an increased utility and pharma companies should take note. This video was featured on JDRFonline, which is the quite well done YouTube channel of the foundation. The video was actually posted a few weeks ago, but I just noticed it while aggregating videos for the EyeonFDA YouTube channel where I aggregate various disease-specific healthcare videos. By the way, JDRF is an organization that clearly gets the utility of digital, as evidenced by the amazing job they have done on Twitter, where they began to twitter and within a few weeks attracted over 1300 followers, including many, many members of Congress. Well done JDRF!