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What We're Reading: High Court Lets Abortion Cases Stand; NIH and Fetal Tissue; Dsuvia Examined

AJMC Staff
The Supreme Court refused to hear 2 cases arising from efforts by states to bar Planned Parenthood clinics from the Medicaid program; the NIH will spend up to $20 million over 2 years to find and develop alternatives to using fetal tissue in research projects; whether or not the United States needs another opioid painkiller on the market has been widely debated since the FDA approved Dsuvia last month.

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear 2 State Cases About Medicaid, Planned Parenthood

The Supreme Court refused to hear 2 cases arising from efforts by states to bar Planned Parenthood clinics from the Medicaid program, The New York Times reported. In letting stand the decisions allowing patients to challenge state funding determinations, the Supreme Court effectively sided with Planned Parenthood. That drew criticism from the court’s 3 most conservative justices: Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., and Neil M. Gorsuch. The other 2 conservatives—Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh—declined to join, indicating a desire to steer clear of controversial topics.

 

NIH Wants Fetal Tissue Alternatives

The NIH will spend up to $20 million over 2 years to find and develop alternatives to using fetal tissue in research projects, The Hill reported, after facing pressure from anti-abortion groups. NIH said it will solicit applications soon to "develop" or "further refine" human tissue models that can model human biology. In addition, HHS is still conducting a review of more than $100 million in federal funding of fetal tissue research projects. Many biologists argue fetal tissue is critical to improving biomedical research, especially in HIV applications.

 

Report Examines Possible Shortcomings of Military-Endorsed Opioid

Whether or not the United States needs another opioid painkiller on the market has been widely debated since the FDA approved Dsuvia last month. STAT analyzed whether or not the drug, a fast-acting tablet version of a decades-old intravenous painkiller that is up to 10 times more potent than the highly addictive fentanyl, lives up to its promises. The approval was championed by the military, which said the drug is needed in combat zones. While the drug could prove useful in some situations, the approval could be problematic, the report said.

 
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