Side Effects or Adverse Events or ???

Okay, today I will discuss a bit on medicine – its action and reaction.

What happens when you are prescribed a medicine—a pharmaceutical drug?

MedicineDefinition_AshuBlogs_Panoramaa.jpg

DrugDefinition_AshuBlogs_Panoramaa.jpg

Source: Google Search

First thing these days, I have noticed is that a patient usually searches on the Internet, the effect and side effects of the prescribed medicine. Now, it is the responsibility of the physician to explain them both. But sometimes patient may not remember all what doctor advised/explained or may be not very well understood due to complicated medical jargon. However, it is the responsibility of a doctor to explain and a patient to ask until the patient and/or the caretaker is crystal clear on the treatment plan, be it a prescribed medicine, advice for lab tests, diagnostic report or the need for any invasive procedure as simple as administering an injection. But does that happen, always? Busy Practice, Fear of Embarrassment, Confidence on Online Data, etc. etc. etc. are various hindrances. A very risky behavior.

Now, let’s understand some definitions.

What is a Side Effect?

SideEffects_AshuBlogs_Panoramaa

Source: Google Search

What is an Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR)?*

An Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR) as “an appreciably harmful or unpleasant reaction, resulting from an intervention related to the use of a medicinal product, which predicts hazard from future administration and warrants prevention or specific treatment, or alteration of the dosage regimen, or withdrawal of the product.” Such reactions are currently reported by use of WHO’s Adverse Reaction Terminology…Management includes withdrawal of the drug if possible and specific treatment of its effects. Suspected adverse drug reactions should be reported. Surveillance methods can detect reactions and prove associations.

*Source: Edwards IR, Aronson JK. Adverse drug reactions: definitions, diagnosis, and management. Lancet. 2000 Oct 7;356(9237):1255-9. PMID: 11072960 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(00)02799-9. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11072960 as assessed on 20th September 2019.

More information on ADR can be read on https://www.msdmanuals.com/en-in/home/drugs/adverse-drug-reactions/severity-of-adverse-drug-reactions

What is an Adverse Event (AE)?**

An Adverse Event (AE) is any undesirable experience associated with the use of a medical product in a patient. The event is serious and should be reported to FDA when the patient outcome is:

  • Death
  • Life-threatening
  • Hospitalization (initial or prolonged)
  • Disability or Permanent Damage
  • Congenital Anomaly/Birth Defect
  • Required Intervention to Prevent Permanent Impairment or Damage (Devices)
  • Other Serious Medical Events like patient requiring medical or surgical intervention to prevent one of the other outcomes or the development of drug dependence or drug abuse would also be examples of important medical events.

**Source: https://www.fda.gov/safety/reporting-serious-problems-fda/what-serious-adverse-event

And one such untoward reaction and undesirable experience – Somnambulism – has been illustrated in the movie ‘Side Effects’ of a prescription medicine for depression. Somnambulism is generally referred to as Sleep Walking. But a murder while sleep walking? Well, then it is a severest form of an adverse event. Means this or similar type of suicidal or homicidal instinct would have probably shown up during the clinical trial phase, and if so, the drug would not have been approved.

Such an event/incident for sure does not appear to be a Side Effect. And in case of an approved drug, if such signs and symptoms appear during the Post Marketing Surveillance (PMS), then further investigation is required to ensure if it is true, how true and how severe.

Now, connecting Medicine with Management or Economics, how can such information affect a Pharmaceutical Company? Its reputation? Its Stock Value?

Any negative review for one drug from a company means a bad news to the stock value of the entire company, not just one division of the company. And can this be planned? Hmmm, shouldn’t happen but there is something called as Securities Fraud/Stock Fraud/Investment Fraud, and yes, this can create a havoc, especially, when it comes from a distressed patient supported by a well known Physician—in this scenario to pacify the anxious traders/investors/shareholders is nearly impossible. And thus, the share price crashes. Something very beautifully depicted in the movie ‘Side Effects’, a psychological thriller.

Good actors, great acting, excellent plot and direction. I like Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Rooney Mara. No reason not to watch. And it is on Netflix.

SideEffectsTrailer_AshuBlogs_Panoramaa

Movie Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jQq6BiT-eI

The movie poster reads: “One pill can change your life.”
Can it?
May be it can.
May be it can change more than just one life in known-unknown ways.

OTC (Over-The-Counter) or prescribed, every medicine is a drug and every drug is to be taken only after its effects and side effects are well understood for the betterment of oneself and for the benefit of the society at large.

More on Securities Fraud can be read on Investopedia, one of my go-to websites for quick reference and easy understanding of economics and finance related terminologies.

Yes, I did watch a few more movies that involved some twisted minds and mind games. Best ones on my list are Zodiac, Seven, True Story and The Frozen Ground. For those who like thrillers and murder mysteries, these are some good ones to watch.

Happy reading and Netflixing!

…Ashu Bolar

 

Back to the Beginning

There are various kinds of addictions. Addiction is considered unhealthy. But in my case I have some not-so-bad addictions.

One of which I have recognized is the constant desire to learn and improve as a person and professional, which makes me a lifetime student, and thus, I keep enrolling in various programs, courses and workshops.

And this week, I was back to one of my favourite institutes, SPJIMR, to attend MDP on a very unique topic ‘Employer Branding – pathway to becoming a great place to work’. I have almost 12 years of experience in Marketing, Branding and Communications, which is also supported with relevant academic qualifications. However, during my academic years as well as in real life, ‘Employee’ plays an essential role in the growth of an organization was taught, cases revolving around employer-employee relations were discussed, how employees are responsible in creating a great customer experience was also talked about—but how to achieve this wasn’t a major focus. It is there somewhere throughout, mostly dispersed, but I never came across a dedicated session on Employer Branding that solely focuses on valuing employees, who are The Essential (not-the-forgotten) Stakeholders and The Brand Ambassadors of the organizations, whether they are working with the organization or have moved on to next phase in life but with good memories.

Attrition has increased in almost all the companies across sectors. Why? Easy answer is –“It is the millennial attitude.” But is it? And if so, then why? It is said – “People leave the manager, not company.” And the boss, in most cases, isn’t a millennial. Something to think about.

Employees are the face of the organization, more so, in the service sector. I belong to healthcare industry, hospital to be precise. Right from the time a patient makes a call to book an appointment to the time he/she sees the doctor, the patient interacts with a series of hospital executives…

  • The person from customer care who took the call for appointment confirmation
  • The security who checks all the visitors entering the hospital premises
  • The liftman guiding the patient to the respective floor
  • The registration team providing patient with the hospital card
  • The billing unit on the cost details
  • The nurses interacting with the patient
  • The assistant doctor taking the case brief
  • The treating doctor advising the patient towards right treatment management
  • The pharmacy person dispatching medicines

Broadly, these are the Hospital Employees a patient and/or the patient caretaker will come across in any first time OPD (Out-Patient Department) visit to any Multispeciality Hospital. Now, each one of the employee mentioned above probably is an expert in his/her job, but is his/her functioning aligned with the organization’s (hospital here) vision-mission-values? And by this I don’t mean the HR team talking on Vision-Mission-Values in the induction session; what I mean is its actual percolation across the hierarchy.

And if they aren’t and if there happens to be an incident (imagine in a hospital where each patient, each life matters), which fortunately (for the customers as they will be aware) and unfortunately (for the organization) goes viral on the digital media, then who is to be blamed—the Employee, the Manager, the HR team, the Board or the Entire Management System? Again, something to think about.

In this two-day workshop, many such aspects were discussed, and I understood on ways how Brand Equity is to be created by including all the employees, and not excluding or overlooking or taking any one of the employee for granted.

Employee Value Proposition is not something we aren’t aware of in the corporate world. However, it is something that needs not just to be preached, but practiced. Well, it is a matter of time, the sooner a company realizes and recognizes the need for Employer Branding, the better are its chances of growing, however this time, not just with innovation and aggression, but along with compassion and positivity.

Interesting subject. Great faculty team. Interactive batchmates. And goes without saying, a known and a good Management Institute.

Some quotes that stayed with me post the session…

“Life is precious, but too short. You can’t take anything with you, but you can leave a lot of meaningful things behind.”

“Within the company, collaborate. Outside the company, compete with the competitors.”

“Learn-Unlearn, from time to time.”

“Employer Brand + Employee Experience = Brand Strength —> a competitive advantage, a POD (point of differentiation) in Marketing Parlance.”

“Creating Moments That Matter. Making Employee Experience a beautiful journey in the company.”

“If you want a better brand image, it is best to start with a better brand reality. Self analysis, self reflection and walk the talk kind of leadership.”

“Good employee journey maps are one which has stories.”

Yes stories, I hope there will be some good stories about me and my firm someday.

To hire talent and to retain talent are two different things, and each requires great effort and investment of resources, time being the leading resource. It is easy to be on the other side and criticize a boss, but it is difficult to be a boss and not to be criticized.

So I think, and will try my best to be a better leader everyday…

…because it is a new beginning, everyday…

…and everyday is a good day to create some good memories, some good stories.

Glimpses from 26-27th Feb 2019…

Group Picture Credit: SPJIMR LinkedIn Page

For further information on MDP at SPJIMR, please visit: http://www.spjimr.org/mdp

– Ashu Bolar

Healthcare Media: Trends and Challenges

Last month I was to take a session on this topic. Before creating the presentation, I kept on thinking of the possible trends and challenges in media and communication, healthcare or otherwise. Well, the leading trend is Going Digital, for any form of communication or media or project. But what about the challenges?

Hmmm, Digital – can be a challenge. Any scientific invention has its pros and cons – advantages and disadvantages depending on the person using it and his/her intention/s.

Interpersonal Skills – yes a challenge, if all in a team are not aligned towards the common objective, and if the team comprises of members from different backgrounds, which usually is the case. This can be solved through sessions of grooming, team building and project meets.

Gen – By this I mean which Gen do you belong to? Gen X, GenY, Xennial, Millennial, Gen Z? Each generation has its own characteristic—extremely unique, a differentiating feature.

I belong to the Class: Gen Y, Sub Class: Xennial.

Yeah, born in 1982, I have witnessed a tremendous transformation in the communication channels…
From the ring (rotary) dial phones to the cordless phones to the cordless phone sized mobile phones to the smart phones and the touch screens…Nokia, O2, Motorola, Blackberry, iphone, Samsung – name it, and I have used it all!
From the box televisions to the flat LED/LCD screens…
From the telephone dependent long dialing Internet connections to the instant Internet connectors, dongle and WiFi…
From the typewriters to desktops to laptops to tablets…
From the hand-held video games to the onscreen Play Stations…
From the film cameras to digital cameras to phone cameras…
From writing diaries to blogging…
From listening to music on Walkman to ipods to phones…
From Floppy Disks to CDs to DVDs to Pen Drives to cloud storage…
From the time when pictures where clicked on some special occasion to the era of ever-clicked selfies…
From the hours of chatting on phone, to typing on chat windows, to sending SMS, and now WhatsApping…
From searching the books in the library to the very convenient Google Search…

So far I have seen it all, adapted to most of it, and waiting to see, experience and learn more.

Good or bad? Well, I think, one has to change with time. And one thing my generation has learnt is to evolve continuously–keep adapting, be flexible– because we did not have much of a choice. Adapt or extinct was the case.

I think, adaptability to technology (may not be applicable in other areas) is a prominent feature seen from Gen Y onwards. Earlier Gen, not so much, which is something that most of the time poses as a very big challenge. But even impossible says I-am-possible. So, where there is a will, there sure is a way.

The audience to the event was Faculty Members of Ajeenkya D Y Patil University, Pune, and the talk was well received.  I am glad I was invited and looking forward to more such sessions were I too get to learn before I talk/discuss on a topic.

AshuBolar_Panorama_GenY

Some interesting website on Gen I came across while doing my research are as below:

Till next blog post, happy reading!

…Ashu Bolar

People-Centred Care

The World Health Organization (WHO) video (link as below) explains what People-Centred Care is all about extremely well.

From ‘What is the matter?’ To ‘What matters to you?’ – the video conveys it all.

…Ashu Bolar

Healthcare Sector in India

For the past ten years, I have been working in Healthcare Media and Communications Industry. However, every time I ask a student or a colleague, “What does the healthcare sector in India comprise?”, the answer generally surprises me. People do not think beyond hospitals, nursing homes, private practice, pharmaceutical companies, various medical specialities, chemists, diagnostic centres, alternative medicine…that’s it. The list generally ends here.

Healthcare Sector is BIG. HUGE. with a lot of scope to develop further, and you can be a part of this developmental process.

As per India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the Indian healthcare sector is expected to increase from US$ 110 billion in 2016 to US$ 372 billion in 2022. Rising income level, greater health awareness, increased precedence of lifestyle diseases and improved access to insurance would be the key contributors to growth. (Source: https://www.ibef.org/industry/healthcare-presentation)

This is what I meant when I wrote BIG. HUGE. with massive opportunities.

Below is my interpretation of the ‘Healthcare Sector in India’. Readers, please feel to share your thoughts and opinions. I will be more than happy to revise the flowchart to ensure it’s complete.

HealthcareSectorInIndia_Panorama_AshuBlogs_AshuBolar_Jan2018

I will be back soon with more information on this topic!

Till then, happy reading!

…Ashu Bolar