Brainstorm Health: Fentanyl Overdoses, J&J Clinical Win

Happy hump day, readers.

It’s a busy week, but I wanted to highlight a piece from my colleague Erin Corbett on the latest, disconcerting data regarding the opioid addiction epidemic.

“According to the [Centers for Disease Control’s] National Center for Health Statistics, drug overdoses involving fentanyl increased by 113% each year between 2013 and 2016. The drug was involved in nearly 29% of all reported overdose deaths in 2016, a huge jump from just 4% five years earlier. At that point, oxycodone was the most common drug in overdoses, at 13%,” Erin writes.

Read on for the day’s news.


J&J claims a head-to-head win in a lucrative space. Johnson & Johnson is ramping up its rivalry with Novartis in one of the most lucrative spaces in pharmaceuticals: dermatology and immunology. The firm is touting its psoriasis treatment Tremfya's efficacy against Novartis' rival Cosentyx. The stakes are high: This is a more than $20 billion market. (Reuters)


Kaiser mental health strike leads to repercussions. A dispute between mental health workers and Kaiser management has led to the cancellation of certain non-urgent surgeries, according to CBS. Nearly 4,000 workers represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers will reportedly strike through Friday in a dispute over staffing levels and pay. (CBS News)


More Than 60% of Americans Didn't Get a Pay Raise Last Year, by Don Reisinger

Commentary: Twitter Has Become the Modern Day Colosseum, by Michael Fontaine

How Europe's Young Tech Industry Can Avoid Silicon Valley's Diversity Failure, by Grace Donnelly

Sesame Street Is Introducing Its First Homeless Puppet, by Emily Price

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