The Medical Advertising Hall of Fame (MAHF) honored the association’s 2020 inductees at The Pierre Hotel in New York City.

Although the passage of the 2017 tax bill was a victory for pharma and medical marketers, major challenges are ahead for those of us inside the Beltway for the foreseeable future.

The Coalition for Healthcare Communication (Coalition) has faced multiple challenges in Washington over the years, including major tax legislation (more on that below), and now its Executive Committee has adopted a new mission statement designed to both combat information quackery and its more modern rendition – fake medical news – and to highlight and raise the ethical standards of the medical communication industry.

While the nation’s media was focusing on the unsuccessful attempts by Republicans to pass a successor to Obamacare, a fascinating sideshow has developed in nearby White Oak, Maryland, home of the Food and Drug Administration.

For many of the healthcare advertising agencies featured within this annual special report, 2016 was another year of growth and change. With the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States and the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote to exit the European Union, the year also introduced uncertainty to agencies and their clients.

While the future of the biopharma and device industries is mostly dependent on what happens in labs and clinical trials, their ability to innovate and successfully market medicines, devices and services operates in a policy soup often flavored by who occupies senior positions in the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration.

The Coalition for Healthcare Communication (CHC) summit in Washington, D.C., in late November provided an interesting postmortem of the 2016 election, and a look into the crystal ball by some of our industry’s most knowledgeable leaders. Fast-forward to February 2017, and the crystal ball is still pretty cloudy.

Although virtually no one in the urban bubble where biopharmaceutical companies reside expected it to happen, Donald Trump won. So, now what?

The two leading biopharmaceutical organizations made a bold public statement on FDA off-label policy that proposes new regulatory standard that provides a great starting point for the inevitable policy debates on how the FDA defines “false and misleading” in marketing.

The speakers agreed: It’s prime time for the next generation of industry leaders to step up, speak up and be counted in Washington to ensure that policy makers fully understand the value of robust communication to the delivery of efficient and effective healthcare in America. The message came together on May 11 in Washington when a Congressman, inside-the-beltway experts, and key industry CEOs convened with more than 60 up-and-coming stars from the health agency networks, independent agencies, medical publishers, and digital content providers to review medical policy issues at the Coalition for Healthcare Communication’s Rising Leaders Conference.