What We're Reading: Alzheimer Blood Test; Planned Parenthood Ousts President; Glucose Monitor Production

July 17, 2019

Researchers are closing in on a sought after goal of a blood test that can detect posssible signs of Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia; Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen, MD, has been ousted after 8 months; Abbott Laboratories is ramping up manufacturing capacity for its lower-cost continuing glucose monitor FreeStyle Libre.

Blood Test to Detect Alzheimer Risk

Researchers are getting closer to developing a blood test that can screen for possible signs of Alzheimer disease and other forms of dementia, reported The Associated Press. Presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, data showed that among various experimental tests, one seemed 88% accurate at reporting Alzheimer risk. Richard Hodes, MD, director of the National Institute of Aging, called the results very promising and said that blood tests will soon be used to identify and monitor people for federally funded studies, although it will take longer to establish the value of these tests in routine medical care.

Planned Parenthood President Ousted

After 8 months, Leana Wen, MD, has been ousted as the president of Planned Parenthood. In a statement, Wen said she is leaving because of “philosophical differences about the direction and future of Planned Parenthood,” writing that she came to run a national healthcare organization and advocate for a broad range of national public health policies ranging from affordable care to improving maternal health. However, according to Wen, Planned Parenthood’s new board leadership has determined the priority of the organization is to focus on abortion rights advocacy.

Abbott to Increase Production of Glucose Monitors

Abbott Laboratories is planning to ramp up manufacturing capacity for its lower-cost continuing glucose monitor FreeStyle Libre to try and reach millions of more patients with diabetes worldwide. According to Reuters, the company is looking to increase manufacturing by 3 to 5 times in the next few years beginning in the second half of this year. Abbott’s senior vice president for Diabetes Care Jared Watkin told Reuters that scale is a major part of the company’s strategy for its glucose monitors, explaining that, “When you’re making disposable diagnostic products, the more you can make, the lower cost you can produce them at.”