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Health Highlights: July 9, 2019


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

Billionaire and Presidential Candidate Ross Perot Dead at 89

Former U.S. presidential candidate Ross Perot died Tuesday at age 89.

The Texas billionaire died at his home in Dallas, The New York Times reported. Family spokesman James Fuller said the cause was leukemia.

Perot made his fortune in the computer services industry and eventually ran for president in 1992 and 1996 with populist talk of restoring Norman Rockwell's America, according to the Times.

He was born in 1930 to a cotton broker father in Texarkana, excelling at everything he set his mind to -- from paper boy to the Boy Scouts to becoming class president at the U.S. Naval Academy.

After leaving the Navy in 1957, Perot joined I.B.M., where he quickly became a top salesman. He left I.B.M. in 1962 to form his own company, Electronic Data Systems, which by the mid-1960s was a booming business. He quickly became one of the country's richest men.

Daredevil exploits on behalf of U.S. prisoners of war in Vietnam, as well as a commando raid to free two Americans held in an Iranian prison in 1979, helped cement Perot's reputation as a patriotic folk hero.

That, his rapid-fire and colorful language, and $65 million of his own money, helped propel Perot from unlikely fringe candidate in the 1992 Presidential election to winning 19% of the popular vote in a contest against incumbent George H.W. Bush and the winner, Bill Clinton.

Perot tried again in 1996 but this time fared poorly, running on the Reform Party ticket.

He was a noted philanthropist, giving millions to schools, hospitals and cultural organizations. He was also a prolific author of a number of books centered on patriotic and political themes.

Perot reveled in his individualism, the Times said, with a favorite axiom being, "Eagles don't flock, you have to find them one at a time."

Information on survivors was not immediately available.

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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.

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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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