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What We’re Reading: Maternal Mortality Rates; FDA Rejects Lilly's Eczema Drug; Some Abortion Ban Restrictions Lifted


A new grant aims to address maternal mortality in predominantly Black rural areas; Eli Lilly's drug to treat atopic dermatitis has not received FDA approval; a preliminary injunction is granted to Planned Parenthood South Atlantic.

Targeting High Maternal Mortality Rates in Majority-Black Rural Communities

A federal program under the Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded its first grant to an organization serving predominantly Black rural communities in the Deep South to combat high maternal mortality rates, according to Kaiser Health News. This development follows concerns raised after the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies Program initially omitted grants for such communities, despite their alarming maternal mortality rates. The Mississippi-based Institute for the Advancement of Minority Health and Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in New Hampshire are among the latest grant recipients. These efforts aim to reduce maternal health disparities in areas with historically high rates of maternal mortality, especially among Black women.

FDA Rejects Lilly’s Eczema Drug Due to Manufacturing Issues

The FDA has declined to approve Eli Lilly's drug lebrikizumab, intended for treating atopic dermatitis, according to Reuters. This decision results from certain findings during an inspection of a contract manufacturer, with the FDA not raising concerns about clinical trial data, safety, or labeling. Lilly plans to collaborate with the manufacturer and the FDA to address the issues cited in the complete response letter. Analysts estimate that lebrikizumab could generate $1.64 billion in sales by 2026.

Federal Judge Lifts Restrictions Within North Carolina’s Abortion Ban

District Judge Catherine Eagles has lifted some restrictions in North Carolina's abortion ban, granting a preliminary injunction to Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, according to The Hill. This ruling affects portions of the ban that required documentation of intrauterine pregnancy and mandated surgical abortions to be performed in a hospital after 12 weeks. Eagles had previously blocked the pregnancy documentation requirement in June, when the 12-week ban was signed into law. The decision was praised by Planned Parenthood and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, who called the law “sloppily written.” This development comes in the context of increased abortion restrictions in several US states following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

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