What We’re Reading: Codeine Prescriptions Declining; COVID-19 Vaccine Use Simplified; Abortion Debates Ongoing

States in which recreational cannabis is legal see declining codeine prescriptions; the FDA plans to simplify the use of COVID-19 vaccines; state-wide abortion debates ramp up as Congress deadlocks

Legal Recreational Cannabis Linked to Lower Demand for Codeine Prescriptions

New research suggests that legalizing the use of recreational cannabis is one way that may help curb the demand for codeine prescriptions, according to US News & World Report. A recent study found an overall reduction of 26% in pharmacy-based codeine distribution and up to a 37% reduction after recreational cannabis laws were inb effect for 4 years. Misuse of pharmacy-based distribution of codeine has accounted for more than 10,000 overdoses in the United States in recent years.

FDA Plans to Simplify and Update the Use of COVID-19 Vaccines

The FDA has announced that it wants to make the COVID-19 vaccine process more like the annual flu vaccine process, according to CNN Health. This could include changes such as streamlining the vaccine composition, immunization schedules, and periodic updates to the COVID-19 vaccine. Furthermore, the FDA announced that most people may only need 1 dose of the latest COVID-19 vaccine to restore protection against the virus.

Abortion Debates Intensify Across States as Congress Deadlocks

With deadlocks in Washington, DC, abortion debates are shifting to states convening their first legislative sessions since the overturn of Roe v Wade, according to Kaiser Health News. Anti-abortion groups say that their goal in overturning Roe v Wade was to bring the decision back to the states. However, they are now making it clear that they want a national abortion ban. Meanwhile, at the federal level, the Biden administration has made efforts to make mifepristone more accessible by allowing its distribution in pharmacies and through US mail.

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