Context. Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars are typified by strong dust-driven, molecular outflows. For long, it was believed that the molecular content of the circumstellar envelope of AGB stars is primarily determined by the atmospheric C/O ratio. However, recent observations of molecules such as HCN, SiO, and SO reveal gas-phase abundances higher than predicted by thermodynamic equilibrium (TE) models. UV-photon initiated dissociation in the outer envelope or non-equilibrium formation by the effect of shocks in the inner envelope may be the origin of the anomolous abundances.