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What We're Reading: Alabama Abortion Ban; Pennsylvania AG Sues Purdue Pharma; Death Penalty Drug Regulation


The Alabama Senate has approved a bill that would ban almost all abortions in the state, regardless of whether pregnancies were caused from rape or incest; Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has sued Purdue Pharmaceuticals over the company's role in the opioid epidemic; the Justice Department has decided the FDA can't regulate death penalty drugs.

Alabama Moves to Ban All Abortions, Setting Up Supreme Court Fight

The Alabama Senate approved legislation that would ban nearly all abortions in the state, making no exception for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, The New York Times reported. The bill, which creates a direct challenge to Roe v Wade, would criminalize the procedure and charge physicians who perform them with a felony that could carry a sentence of up to 99 years in prison. The legislation will move to the desk of Governor Kay Ivey, who has not publicly commented about whether she will sign it.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Sues Purdue Pharma Over Role In Opioid Epidemic

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro sued Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the maker of OxyContin, over the company’s role in fueling the opioid epidemic, according to The Hill. The lawsuit accused the drug manufacturer of spreading more than 500,000 misleading messages about the product, claiming that physicians were assured patients with moderate to severe chronic pain would not become addicted to opioids, and that the drug had no maximum dosage. According to Shapiro, the company sold more than 2.9 million opioid prescriptions in Pennsylvania since May 2007.

Justice Department Says FDA Can’t Regulate Death Penalty Drugs

In a legal opinion, the Justice Department said the FDA has no jurisdiction over death penalty drugs, CNN reported. In 2015, the FDA seizured 1000 vials of sodium thiopental from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The state of Texas sued the FDA in January 2017, asking the agency to release the drug from federal custody. In 2012, a federal court issued an injunction that required the FDA to block the importation of the drug “on the grounds that it was unapproved and misbranded.”

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