Morning Rx: May 4, 2023


Lawmakers take on harm reduction, in-flight medical emergency kits are under review, and a new Alzheimer drug shows promise.

State Lawmakers Push Back Against Harm Reduction Initiatives

As fentanyl-related overdose deaths soar, lawmakers in the Pennsylvania state Senate voted in favor of banning supervised injection sites, according to reporting in NPR. Philadelphia Senator Christine Tartaglione (D) sponsored the bill; her constituents include parts of the city where illegal drug use has become a major public health crisis. Opponents of the legislation are disappointed, especially in light of the decades of research contradicting the claim that supervised drug use sites can enable addiction.

WHO to Meet, Evaluate COVID-19 Emergency Declaration

Experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) are meeting today to determine if COVID-19 is still an emergency based on WHO rules. The committee has met every 3 months since declaring COVID-19 an emergency on January 30, 2020, and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, hopes to end the international emergency this year. Read more on Reuters.

FAA Reviewing In-Flight Emergency Medical Kit Requirements

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering recommendations from the Aerospace Medical Association that all US airlines should carry epinephrine auto-injectors and other allergy medications for both adults and children, NBC News reported. The agency is currently reviewing emergency medical kit requirements, and is considering updates to include automated blood pressure cuffs and naloxone as well.

Alzheimer Drug Shows Promise

Donanemab slows both cognitive and functional decline in people with early, symptomatic Alzheimer disease, according to Eli Lilly. The phase 3 TRAILBLAZED-ALZ 2 study met its primary endpoint of change from baseline to 18 months, and the drugmaker anticipates submitting an application to the FDA this quarter.

Public Not Confident that Opioid Settlements Are Effective

Half of US adults are “not confident” that opioid settlements will be effective in holding drug companies and pharmacy chains accountable for their role in the opioid crisis, according to Morning Consult. Although numerous state and local governments and tribal groups have reached multibillion dollar settlements with manufacturers, distributors, and retail pharmacy chains, only 13 states have promised to publicly report 100% of their settlement spending; 18 states have not yet made any commitments.

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