Kenilworth, NJ. – What is the next greatest invention? A flying car? Transportation? Time travel? A recent survey conducted by pharmaceutical company, Merck, revealed only 5% of respondents cited medicine as the next greatest invention. Merck’s newest campaign aims to change that perception and bring names like Maurice Hilleman (who helped invent more than 40 vaccines, including measles, mumps and chickenpox) to the top of the list of greatest inventors in history. But why would Merck put so much stock in a campaign to raise awareness around inventions in medicine?

The answer is two fold, and closely follows the Drug Debate trend we’re following in 2017. As mentioned recently on HXP and in the mainstream media, drug pricing is still under heavy scrutiny. Merck’s campaign aim’s to humanize the drug company and give a glimpse into pulling back the curtain to reveal what lies behind the pricing. A feat not easy to overcome as many have and are attempting to address.

But the second answer is much more compelling – only one class of drugs approved by the FDA in the last five years actually cures patients. In this video, after a smattering of people listing blue-sky invention ideas, a young lady asks for a cure, and quickly reveals her 3-year-old daughter who has been in remission since 2016. A sobering moment that instantly brings to the surface the need to prevent disease, not just react.

Why This Matters –

As mentioned above, we are constantly on the hunt for trends. We spot trends by scouring the corners of the world for similar clues to form themes that help us understand what shifts are happening in the marketplace. This new campaign is just another clue that feeds into the trend around the constant drug debate. And we don’t see this trend letting up anytime soon.

But it is great to see companies bringing light and attempting to create awareness around such a sensitive issue. And storytelling is a great medium to spread awareness by not avoiding the pricing conversation, but shifting the focus to what companies are and should be attempting – find and bring life saving solutions to the healthcare marketplace.

About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.