What We’re Reading: COVID-19 Treatment Sales Drop; Pharmacies Warned Against Mailing Abortion Pills; Pollution Tied to Depression, Anxiety

Merck & Co. and Eli Lilly & Co. report sales loss for COVID-19 treatments; Republican state attorneys general tell CVS and Walgreens that mailing mifepristone might break the law; exposure to air pollution over time is associated with a rise in incidence of depression and anxiety.

Merck, Eli Lilly Sales for COVID-19 Products Drops

On Thursday, Merck & Co. predicted a steep drop in COVID-19 antiviral pill sales following decreased worldwide demand as the pandemic abates, reported Reuters. Merck believes sales for the COVID-19 drug molnupiravir will go from $5.68 billion in 2022 to just about $1 billion in 2023. Also on the decline is Eli Lilly & Co., with decreased COVID-19 antibody sales bringing down its most recent quarterly revenue by 9% to $7.30 billion which was a little below analyst estimates, according to The Wall Street Journal. Reasons for the drop are thought to be because of currency translation, lower realized prices, and reduced demand for select products.

Republican AGs Warn Pharmacies Against Mailing Abortion Pills

On Wednesday, 20 Republican state attorneys general (AGs) informed Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and CVS Health Corp that dispensing the abortion drug mifepristone by mail can break some federal and state laws, reported Reuters . The AGs informed the pharmacies that the Comstock Act, a federal law from the 19th century, forbids using mail services to send or receive any drug for abortion. Walgreens and CVS haven’t become certified to dispense the drug in legal abortion areas but have expressed that they expect to.

Depression, Anxiety Connected to Long-term Pollution Exposure, Study Finds

Heightened incidence of depression and anxiety is linked to long-term exposure of air pollution, even low levels, reported The New York Times. This finding follows other evidence that fossil fuels might be harming mental health. The pollutants measured included fine particulate matter, nitric oxide, and nitrogen dioxide, most of which are released into the air when fossil fuels are burned. The study also considered socioeconomic status and preexisting mental illness of participants, highlighting adverse outcomes beyond physical health damage.

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