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What We're Reading: Drug Overdose Deaths; New Anthem CEO; Diabetes Technology

AJMC Staff
CDC released a report showing a more than 17% increase in drug overdose deaths last year; Gail K. Boudreaux will step in as new Anthem CEO; and the first glucose-monitoring system that doesn’t require a blood sample will hopefully be introduced by the end of 2018.

Sharp Increase in Drug Overdose Deaths Last Year

Drug overdoses have become the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. On Friday, CDC released a report that showed deaths by drug overdose increased by more than 17% last year. Preliminary data from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2016 show that the rate of fatal overdoses rose to approximately 20 people per 100,000, up from 16.6 per 100,000, according to The New York Times.  The highest rates reported were from New Hampshire, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, and Rhode Island.



Joseph Swedish Out, Gail Boudreaux in as Anthem CEO

Anthem has chosen a former top executive from one of its biggest competitors to replace Joseph Swedish as its next CEO, according to The Associated Press. Gail K. Boudreaux will start November 20. Swedish will continue to serve as executive chairman until May, and will then will serve as senior advisor for a couple more years. Anthem did not cite a reason for the departure of Swedish, who has been CEO for more than 4 years. Boudreaux served as CEO of UnitedHealthcare until November 2014.



High-Tech Relief for People with Diabetes

The days of routine finger pricking and imprecise glucose meters may soon be over, according to Bloomberg. Manufacturers have begun to incorporate the consumer-friendly designs of Silicon Valley, linking to smart phones and other devices. In September, regulators approved the first glucose-monitoring system that doesn’t require a blood sample. The FreeStyle Libre utilizes a sensor that is worn on the back of the arm. Last Wednesday, executives said the company hopes to introduce the device by the end of 2018.

 
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