Jordanian Airlines ups the sarcasm, succeeds bigly

Royal Jordanian Airlines came up with a campaign ahead of the 2016 election encouraging their Muslim travelers to “Travel to the U.S. While You’re Still Allowed To,” in response to Trump’s proposed travel ban on Muslims. It was just supposed to be a clever ad, but it turned out to be prophetic.

Why It’s Hot

The tag line obviously resonated with a cynical population that probably believed that he would win more than the average American voter. It is truth well told.

Tech Solutions for the “Slacktivist” Era

Now a group of techies wants to make reaching officials in Congress even easier. All you have to do is text. Called “Resistbot,” you’d be right to assume this app is meant to be a thorn in Trump’s side.

Check it out here, and read more here.

“We will faithfully deliver any message our users send in, but the voice of the product is for the liberals and conservatives in opposition to the Trump administration,” wrote co-creator Jason Putorti, a designer for AngelList who volunteered for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, in an email to Recode.

Resistbot – launched Wednesday – faxes users’ texted messages to officials. Just type “resist” and hit send to 50409, and the automated bot will ask your name and your zip code. The zip code is used to determine who your public officials are. Then you type in your message.

The first message you send will go, by default, to your Senators. The bot is supposed to also help users send messages to Representatives after interacting more with the user, according to the app website. The site says Resistbot creators have confirmed messages are actually received by congressional staffers.

Why it’s hot:

The rallying cry to contact your member of Congres is louder than ever these days (and all over newsfeeds), but actually reaching them requires real action — more than 1 click, more than a scroll-by. By leveraging the ease of automation and the proliferation of SMS messaging today — perhaps this will finally activate the slacktivists towards meaningful change.

Sending a text message to reach your Senator or Representative may sound less impactful than making a phone call or stopping by their office in person, but Putorti said faxes and emails “are considered just as effective or more so [than phone calls] because there’s no way to truly verify if a call is from a constituent.”

Trump talks pricing, manufacturing in meeting with pharma

Pharma executives got their wish for an early meeting with President Trump Tuesday, 1/31, a couple of weeks after he accused the industry of “getting away with murder” on drug pricing.

“We have to get prices down for a lot of reasons. We have no choice,” Trump told the pharma pack, which included Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) CEO Stephen Ubl, and the head of Novartis, Merck & Co, Eli Lilly, and Celgene.

Too many pharma companies are making medicines overseas – which he blamed on regulation, and overseas “money supply and devaluation”.  Also in Trump’s sights is what he described as “global freeloading” – foreign price controls on drugs that reduce the resources of US pharma companies for R&D. Other countries should “pay their fair share for US-manufactured drugs”, he asserted.

Trump counterbalanced the tough talk by reiterating his pledge to reform the regulatory process so that new medicines can be approved much more quickly, and changing the circumstances in which experimental drugs can be used in patients. In particular, he said it should be easier to test new drugs in terminal patients.

The promise of looser regulation may appear to play to the pharma companies, but in reality the industry has been alarmed by the initial moves in this area – including an executive order this week that calls for federal agencies to withdraw two regulations for every new regulation they introduce.

Adding that to a second order implementing a federal hiring freeze – and a lack of detail in both cases – and serious questions are being raised about the ability of the FDA to function effectively. In particular, there is concern that the orders could effectively stop the 21st Century Cures Act – one of the last actions of the Obama administration and widely welcomed by industry – in its tracks.  This Act will help to quicken getting new

Why It’s Hot

Trump is making changes quickly… and this could effect our pharma clients and in turn, us.  While lowering the prices of drugs could be a great step in the right direction for consumers (more people would have access to the drugs they need), this could in turn mean a significant loss of profits for pharma companies (though, the volume they could make up may balance things).  Less profits=less advertising dollars (but that’s ok).

We should all just be aware of the looser regulations- depending on how this goes and what gets cut, this could potentially mean that there could be less safety requirements to get a drug passed, which is kind of scary!  We need to be informed about what we put into our bodies.