Health Highlights: July 9, 2019

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Rule Requiring Drug Prices in TV Ads Blocked by Judge

A Trump administration rule to force pharmaceutical companies to disclose the list prices of their drugs in television ads was blocked Monday by a federal judge.

The rule, meant to slow rising drug prices, would apply to any drug that costs more than $35 a month and was to take effect this week.

Drug makers Merck, Eli Lilly and Amgen sued in June to block the rule, The New York Times reported.

The Department of Health and Human Services exceeded its regulatory authority by trying to impose the requirement, Judge Amit P. Mehta, U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, ruled.

In his decision, Mehta wrote: “That policy very well could be an effective tool in halting the rising cost of prescription drugs. But no matter how vexing the problem of spiraling drug costs may be, H.H.S. cannot do more than what Congress has authorized. The responsibility rests with Congress to act in the first instance,” The Times reported.


Fewer New Measles Cases in U.S. Last Week

There were just over a dozen measles cases reported last week in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

As of Thursday, there had been 1,109 reported cases in 28 states, an increase of 14 cases from the previous week.

That’s a smaller number of new cases than has been typical this spring, but experts say it’s too soon to declare victory in the current measles outbreak, CNN reported.

So far this year, there have been more cases reported in the U.S. since 1992 and since the measles virus was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000.

“”We’re in a new normal now,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, told CNN.

“We haven’t seen measles epidemics in the United States for over 20 years,” noted Hotez, co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development.

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