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What We’re Reading: ND Supreme Court Blocks Abortion Ban; Paxlovid and COVID-19; Sanofi Joins Insulin Price Cuts

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The high court in North Dakota voted to protect abortion in that state; an outside panel of FDA expert advisors voted to support a full approval for Paxlovid; Sanofi follows competitors' price caps for insulin.

North Dakota Supreme Court Blocks State’s Abortion Ban

In a majority ruling, North Dakota’s Supreme Court backed a lower court’s decision to block a state-wide abortion ban, according to The New York Times.Although the ruling does not determine the final outcome of abortion rights, for now, it allows abortion to remain legal in North Dakota until nearly 22 weeks after a woman’s last period. Currently, 2 state Supreme Courts have made final decisions, with South Carolina ruling abortion was protected under constitutional law, while Idaho ruled that abortion was not protected under its Constitution.

FDA Advisors Approve Paxlovid for Treating COVID-19 in High-Risk Adults

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted 16-1 supporting the full approval of Paxlovid as a treatment of mild and moderate COVID-19 in high-risk adults, according to CNN. In this decision, the FDA concluded that Paxlovid was not associated with COVID-19 rebounds, with findings suggesting that rebound may occur in a subset of infections due to natural progression of the disease. Furthermore, the FDA found no major safety concerns, but has identified 137 medications with Paxlovid drug-drug interactions (DDIs) that may have adverse outcomes.

Sanofi Follows After Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk with Insulin Price Cap

Sanofi announced that it will cap out-of-pocket costs at $35 for its most popular insulin drug, Lantus [insulin glargine (rDNA origin) injection], according to NBC News. Sanofi, Eli Lilly, and Novo Nordisk make up about 90% of the US insulin market, and have been feeling pressure from lawmakers and advocacy groups to lower the cost of insulin drugs following the Inflation Reduction Act. Under this act, starting in 2024, drugmakers will be penalized for raising drug prices faster than the rate of inflation.

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