How you doin’? It’s not justJoey who wants to know. Burger King is recognizing that not everyone is “happy” all the time with “Feel Your Way” meals. The jab at McDonald’s Happy Meals is a creative partnership with Mental Health America in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s meant to recognize that “No one is happy all the time. And that’s OK.”
The Blue Meal, Salty Meal, Yaaas Meal and DGAF (Don’t Give a F---) Meal will each include a Whopper, french fries and a drink. Sounds like the cure for any type of mood.  
After a busy week, The Week That Was team wants to know: where is the sleepy meal?



Ever wonder what happens when you order something online to the wrong address? One online drug retailer is facing some heat for keeping bounce-backs of medications in a shoe organizer inside a closet (yes; you read that correctly) and then reshipping them to other customers. For safety reasons, federal and state laws require prescription medications to be dispensed through a licensed pharmacy and prohibit pharmacies from shipping returned medicines. The company responded with a post on expressing accountability, showing how they’ve made progress, and illustrating the value their business brings to patients. The piece also included compelling patient testimonials to support their argument.     


From rare diseases to diabetes, millions of patients utilize Facebook to support one another and find information. But, there’s always the question of privacy…and what Mark Zuckerberg is doing with their data. Now, Facebook is recognizing its role as a venue for patient conversations with new health support communities that provide more anonymity than the current “group” function. In health support communities, users will be able to ask the administrators to post questions on their behalf so their names are not associated with the post. Still, there won’t be complete anonymity since the administrator will know who the comment is from.    


Recent surveys have found that things aren’t getting much better for women in medicine. Now, a new study suggests things might actually be getting worse. According to InCrowd, 34% of respondents remarked that they felt a greater sense of inequality compared to 8% in 2018. Another recent report found that “20-50% of women [medical] students” said they had experienced “sexually harassing behavior perpetrated by faculty [or] staff.” There is some positive news this week, though. The National Academy of Sciences announced the election of 40 women to their ranks – the most ever elected in any year to date. The number of men elected: 60.   


The Congressional Budget Office released areportabout “Medicare for All” that reads a bit like one of our scenario plans. The report lays out design considerations and choices policymakers would have to make to create a single payer healthcare system, but does not include any cost estimates. The CBO says, “The magnitude of such responses is difficult to predict because the existing evidence is based on previous changes that were much smaller in scale.” The report was released just one day after the first-ever Congressional hearing about "Medicare for All." Stay tuned to The Week That Was as we continue to track healthcare reform discussions.  


Is the stock boom over for healthcare? While earnings were up for a lot of healthcare companies, we’re starting to see some hesitancyfrom investors. Policies being discussed in Washington, from “Medicare for All” to the rebate rule, are likely part of the reason. But there are potentially other things at play as well. Our financial comms expert Eric Laub says, “Political uncertainty is difficult to quantify for Wall Street and taking profits from stocks of companies that have consistently outperformed is a smart practice. This doesn’t necessarily reflect a lack of confidence, however. Reducing exposure to an industry that is in the political headlines everyday could be considered prudent.”  

Measles Meltdown 

What do vacationers on a cruise ship in St. LuciaAvengers fans in California and some Brooklyn residents have in common? They all may have been exposed to the measles in the worst measles outbreak in two decades. In 2000, the Pan American Health Organization announced that measles had been eradicated in the United States. Now more than 700 people have been diagnosed with measles this year across the country. Quick reminder from  the CDC - the measles can be quite serious: 

  • About 1 in 4 people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized.
  • 1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling, which could lead to brain damage.
  • 1 or 2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care.

Public health officials and policymakers have been trying to make bold moves to address the problem, even levying fines on parents who don’t vaccinate their children against the measles. It’s a thorny issue, however, with parents able to get religious and philosophical exemptions in most states. Marcia Brady supports vaccinations and President Trump says children “have to get their shots.” Social media channels have even implemented policies to try to stop the spread of misinformation about vaccines. But, the anti-vax movement is still going strong in some circles.

What you need to know: 

Who wrote this? The managing editors of TWTW are Randi Kahn, who likes Burger King french fries better than McDonald's, and Dana Davis, who is in DC this weekend for Walk MS. 

Syneos Health Communications' Reputation & Risk Management Practice is a team of healthcare communications consultants, policy-shapers and crisis response specialists. We provide unique solutions to the evolving communications challenges in today’s healthcare industry, using evidence-based approaches to help our clients successfully navigate the most sensitive of situations.

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Image credits: pill box by Baboon designs from the Noun Project, Facebook by Leif Michelsen from the Noun Project, Female by Elisabeta from the Noun Project, bar chart by Rose Alice Design from the Noun Project

And now please enjoy this disclaimer that prevents our team from getting in a heap of trouble: This report may contain links to external or third party websites. These links are provided solely for your convenience. Links taken to other sites are done so at your own risk and Syneos Health accepts no liability for any linked sites or their content. Syneos Health makes no warranties or representations, express or implied about such linked websites, the third parties they are owned and operated by, the information contained on them or the suitability or quality of any of their products or services. Syneos Health does not authorize the infringement of any intellectual property rights contained in material offered through these linked sites. Please refer to the use agreement and/or copyright statements of any external site you visit, or the terms and conditions of any externally provided web site for instructions, restrictions, and guidelines. If you have a question, please contact the webmaster of the external site.

About the Author:

Randi Kahn is a Senior Media & Content Director in our Reputation & Risk Management Practice, where she helps clients build and protect their brand reputations through executive thought leadership, public affairs, and issues preparation and response. She has worked for clients throughout the healthcare ecosystem including payers, providers, patient groups and pharma.