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What We’re Reading: Iowa Abortion Ban; Pfizer, Flagship Pioneering Partnership; South Dakota Governor on Drug Shortages


An Iowa abortion ban is temporarily blocked; Pfizer partners with Flagship Pioneering in drug development deal; South Dakota’s governor calls for action in addressing the national drug shortage.

Judge Temporarily Blocks Iowa Abortion Ban

Iowa's new abortion ban was temporarily blocked from taking effect by Polk County District Court Judge Joseph Seidlin, according to The Hill. The lawsuit filed by abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, the Emma Goldman Clinic, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, argus that the ban was not constitutional under Iowa law. The court ruled in favor of the abortion providers, granting a temporary injunction while the case continues, thus restoring access to abortion in the state.

Pfizer, Flagship Pioneering to Invest in Drug Discovery, Development

Drugmaker Pfizer and venture capital firm Flagship Pioneering have partnered to invest $100 million to discover and develop 10 potential drugs targeting diseases with limited or no treatment options, according to Reuters. Flagship will contribute $50 million, leveraging its drug discovery initiative, Pioneering Medicines, to lead the research for new drug molecules. Pfizer will provide funding for the development of the selected drugs and have the option to acquire them, gaining access to Flagship's research platform and preclinical study resources. Additionally, Flagship-backed companies could receive up to $700 million in milestones and royalties if any of the experimental treatments are successfully launched and sold because of this collaboration.

South Dakota Governor Addresses US Drug Shortages

Kristi Noem, governor of South Dakota, has taken action to address drug shortages in the United State, announcing plans to expand the state's stockpiles of certain medications facing shortages, according to The Associated Press. Noem hopes this move will prompt federal authorities, particularly the FDA, to take decisive action in addressing weaknesses in the international pharmaceutical supply chain and reduce dependence on foreign suppliers, such as China and India. These drug shortages are an ongoing issue in the country, affecting patient care due to manufacturing problems, demand spikes, tight ingredient supplies, and overreliance on foreign sources.

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