White House executives met with opioid overdose reversal drug company representatives Tuesday in an attempt to resolve concerns around the drugs’ costs; a national panel of officials recommends that most adults be screened for depression and anxiety, but not suicide; New York passed a law to protect abortion providers who send abortion pills to states with bans.
White House executives met with pharmaceutical company representatives Tuesday to try to address concerns about the affordability of overdose-reversal treatments that the Biden administration sees as vital to saving lives during the country’s explosive opioid crisis, reported The Washington Post. The meeting was conducted with representatives from 10 companies, including Emergent BioSolutions, which will begin selling over the counter overdose-reversal medication naloxone in late summer 2023. Emergent has been criticized for its plans to sell the nasal spray for “less than $50” per 2-dose kit, which some observers have said is too expensive.
The US Preventive Services Task Force is holding fast to its recommendation that health care providers screen most adults for major depression, but to the disappointment of mental health advocates, it will not recommend broad suicide risk screening, according to STAT News. The panel also now recommends that all adults aged 18 to 64 years be screened for anxiety. The updated guidance comes during what President Joe Biden, government agencies, and more have called a mental health crisis across the country. In 2021, suicide was the second leading cause of death in people aged 10 to 14 and 20 to 34 years.
The New York State Legislature granted final approval Tuesday to legislation that gives legal protection for New York doctors to prescribe and mail abortion pills to patients in states with illegal abortion, reported The New York Times. The bill now goes to Governor Kathy Hochul, who has signaled support. This measure, in addition to similar new laws in other states with Democratic legislatures, could considerably increase medication abortion access by permitting more patients in states that have abortion restrictions to end pregnancies at home. The bill says that New York courts and officials will not cooperate if a state with an abortion ban tries to penalize a New York health care provider, as long as they follow New York law.