The current state of healthcare: IPG Health leaders share perspectives on the latest trends via Med Ad News

As 2023 comes to a close, Med Ad News’ annual “Roundtable Q&A” explores key themes from this past year, and predictions for the year ahead. From artificial intelligence and equity, diversity and inclusion to social media trends, the upcoming election and more, our leaders joined the conversation to share their insights: 

Pressing issues in the election year

Sommer Bazuro headshot

With the election coming up in 2024, Sommer Bazuro, Chief Medical Officer at IPG Health notes several critical topics that must be addressed to ensure clinical trial equality: data collection & reporting, FDA & NIH oversight, cultural competency & inclusivity, community engagement and regulatory reforms.  

“Ensuring clinical trial equality for minoritized populations is a crucial public health and healthcare issue, and it’s important that this topic is addressed in the 2024 U.S. election year,” Sommer said.  


Nancy Codoner headshot

Nancy Codoner, Director of Market Access at McCann Health Managed Markets, notes that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) recent drug list as part of the IRA is causing short-term business challenges for some manufacturers. She said that while manufacturers often communicate the value of a product to ensure coverage, it is currently not clear how CMS will determine “value” in the Drug Price Negotiation Program. 

“Pharmaceutical manufacturers are working quickly to collect data (i.e., clinical, outcomes, health economic, and real-world evidence) to support these negotiations,” Nancy said. “While data is critical to effective negotiations with CMS, the data must be meaningful and reinforce the product’s value.” 

Representation in healthcare marketing

Mariela Orchena headshot

To advance representation in healthcare marketing and the healthcare space, Mariela Orchena, Director of Talent Acquisition at IPG Health, said the network’s EDI+You approach emphasizes EDI as a collective responsibility. She highlights our commitment to attracting, hiring and advocating for diverse talent. 

“Our approach centers around a ‘culture add’ strategy, where we strive to embrace unique perspectives and experiences, naturally dismantling historical barriers, including bias, in our recruitment and career development processes,” Mariela said. “Our efforts help to broaden our talent pools, allowing us to tap into a wealth of unique abilities at all stages of work creation.” 

Artificial intelligence for the foreseeable future 

Julie Pilon headshot

Julie Pilon, IPG Health’s Chief Strategy Officer, said that generative AI is a great accelerator, particularly when it comes to understanding patient challenges and enhancing tactical planning, but that we must continue to exercise caution. 

“Once we verify the references and weed out obvious and problematic biases, we do see wonderful applications throughout the work we do internally and for our clients,” Julie said. “We believe the utilization of Gen AI is not some future phenomenon; it’s a present reality, reforming our business at this very moment.” 


Kathleen Nanda headshot

Kathleen Nanda, Chief Creative Officer at FCB Health New York, notes that AI has been a powerful tool, from providing efficiencies to boosting thinking, but that we’re only just “scratching the surface of the capabilities and possibilities” 

“At IPG Health, AI has been embraced throughout our entire organization, from strategy, to medical, to IT, to production and of course, creative,” Kathleen said. “Every discipline is digging into the richness of opportunity.” 

Cutting through the social noise 

Jonathan Brady headshot

Jonathan Brady, Group Engagement Director at FCB Health New York, notes the incredible growth of HCPs using TikTok, an increase of over 200 percent since 2020. He highlights IPG Health’s Influencer ID offering as being the most successful in discovering and engaging with HCP influencers on TikTok.    

“Thanks to TikTok’s simple editing tools, it’s easy for HCPs to create content that feels native,” Jonathan said. “More importantly, the interaction between HCPs and their audiences on TikTok just feels different – instead of being a one-way monologue, HCPs for the first time can actually have meaningful ongoing dialogue with a unprecedently large and diverse community.” 

A look ahead in market access 

Reta Mourad headshot

In the coming year, Reta Mourad, Strategic Planning Director at Mosaic Group, said she anticipates a continued focus on addressing the growing cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. Medicare Part D benefit redesign. She also expects specialty and rare disease drugs to “dominate the 2024 pipeline” with advancements and drug approvals in areas like oncology, Alzheimer’s Disease, obesity and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). 

“Payers and health systems will continue to be increasingly vigilant in monitoring the pipeline, assessing new drug and indication approvals for coverage, and seeking unique utilization management opportunities,” Reta said.  

Moving into 2024 

Ross Quinn headshot

Ross Quinn, Managing Director of Client Solutions at IPG Health, said artificial intelligence has been a monumental shift over the past year. In 2024, he said AI will continue to be used to drive better health outcomes by predicting barriers and drivers to adherence.  

“Patient support programs have historically leaned on a significant amount of manual process,” Ross said. “We believe the human element continues to be foundational when it comes to healthcare services. That said, we can be faster, better and more efficient with AI.” 


Jesse Kates headshot

Heading into the new year, Jesse Kates, Managing Director/Creative Lead at Neon, said he’s most looking forward to spending time in person with his team, and for the work that will debut in 2024. 

“We’ve managed to grow significantly and preserve that intangible Neon thing that makes our agency so great to be a part of,” Jesse said. “Unsurprisingly, our incredible talent has some incredible work debuting in 2024 – the culmination of an enormous amount of heart, soul, creativity and collaboration this year. I can’t wait to celebrate these achievements and build on the momentum for what comes next.”  


Jill Beene headshot

Jill Beene, President of McCann Health New Jersey, said she hopes to continue to apply lessons learned in adaptability, navigating uncertainty and embracing change as we enter the new year. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing how we collectively lean in to solve problems this year with the benefit of our COVID learning behind us,” Jill said. “How will we approach problem solving differently? How will we incorporate tech solutions, break down silos, build better relationships, seek change? In a way, 2024 marks the first time in a while we are going into a new year with a clean ‘COVID-free’ slate.” 


Lauren Cohen headshot

Lauren Cohen, Managing Director/Creative Lead at Humancare, shares she is looking forward to see how AI will affect the quality of work as it becomes more integrated in the creative workflow.  

“The rules and technology seem to change daily, so I think we’ll soon see even more opportunities to use AI to produce concepts that would have taken too much time or money to execute otherwise,” Lauren said. “Healthcare creative is already among the most innovative work out there, and I think AI is just going to turbocharge that.”