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State News Roundup


* The National Institutes of Health has funded 10 clinical research centers with affiliates in 15 states and Puerto Rico to support research on addiction treatment for opioid use disorder in criminal justice settings. Each of the 10 centers, with two in New York and Illinois, and the rest based in Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Texas, will study interventions such as evidence-based medications and patient-centered treatments to prevent relapse and opioid overdose when prisoners are released into their communities. Read about the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network at


* A group of Kentucky coal miners with black lung disease traveled to Washington, DC, in July to convince lawmakers to restore a higher excise tax on coal companies to help finance the federal Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. That tax expired in January and the fund is in debt for about $4.3 billion. Without an extension of the excise tax, the financial burden would likely have to be met by U.S. taxpayers instead of coal companies, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.


* Counseling requirements for abortion "reversal" have been enacted by Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah, according to the American Medical Association (AMA). Health care providers in these states must inform patients about the potential to reverse a medication abortion as part of preabortion counseling, and state-provided counseling materials must include this information. Medication abortion uses mifepristone (Mifeprex, Korlym) with misoprostol (Cytotec), rather than surgery, to induce labor. The "reversal" of a medication abortion with varying doses of progesterone is not supported by science and is unethical, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The AMA has filed suit against North Dakota, saying the law forces physicians to speak government-mandated messages that provide patients with misleading or false information. Both the AMA and the American Civil Liberties Union say the laws are unconstitutional.


* Louisiana announced in August that it will allow pharmacies to dispense medical marijuana to patients. Louisiana joins 33 other states and the District of Columbia that already have medical marijuana laws. The state will only allow products from licensed production facilities. Marijuana of any type remains illegal under federal law.


* In June, the state legislature in New York passed the first sepsis-related education and support measure for home care. The initiative is intended to help home care nurses identify and prevent sepsis in the at-risk home population. A screening tool and algorithm are available at the Home Care Association of New York State's "stop sepsis" website: