• iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Pharmaceutical companies are suing to block a new law in California that requires them to give a 60-day notice before raising prices above a certain threshold.Signed into law in October, the legislation comes after consumers grew outraged over a rise in costs for some prescriptions, including EpiPens for allergic reactions and Hepatitis C treatments.  This prompted the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America to file a lawsuit saying that California’s law illegally “attempts to dictate national health care policy,” according to a statement by the trade group. It said the law “singles out drug manufacturers” as the reason why drug costs rise, while there are “many other entities” that affect the prices.  However, Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Calif., who wrote the bill, said the lawsuit is “just another example” of big pharmaceutical companies “refusing to accept any responsibility for the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs.”“The idea that anyone other than drug companies is responsible for price increases is absurd,” he said. “I’m confident the law will be upheld.”The law is set to take effect Jan. 1.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Jamie McCarthy/Gett Images for Gabrielle's Angel Foundation For Cancer Research(NEW YORK) -- Maria Menounos celebrated the six-month mark since she underwent brain surgery to remove a benign tumor by sharing a video taken just 24 hours after her operation.The former E! News co-host, who stepped down to focus on her recovery, posted a video Friday of her friend feeding her chicken broth while she laid in a hospital bed."This video was taken 24 hours after my brain surgery," she began in a caption. "I still can’t believe that you can eat and speak normally so soon after. It was hard to keep my eyes open [because] I was seeing double at this point."Menounos, 39, continued, "I’ve received so many messages from people saying that my story has helped them, and on my 6 month anniversary I wanted to share this so if you are about to go through this you can see with your own eyes what it can be like. Everyone is different...but if I can ease your fears a bit I would like to."The TV personality also thanked her "best friend of 26 years," Alyssa Wallerce, for being by her "side for months and she fed me this first meal (broth).""It’s a journey and you need help so don’t be afraid to ask for it," Menounos added. "[I'm] forever grateful to Alyssa and all my amazing friends who helped me through this!"In a July interview in People magazine, Menounos revealed she was diagnosed with a golf-ball-sized brain tumor. She added that she underwent a seven-hour surgery to remove 99.9 percent of the tumor.In the interview, the TV host said that her doctor told her "there’s a 6 to 7 percent chance that we’ll see it come back. But I’ll take those odds any day,” she said.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WILMINGTON, N.C.)-- One North Carolina woman's good deed is warming more than just hearts this holiday season.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(HAUTE, Ind.) -- Lexi and Danny Reed of Terre Haute, Indiana, have lost a collective 400 pounds together in two years.“Doing this as a couple has helped us in so many ways,” Lexi Reed, 27, told ABC News. “On days when we were unmotivated, we pushed each other to go to the gym. We also started meal-prepping together, setting goals. And day by day -- or pound by pound -- we grew closer throughout our journey.”What started as a New Year’s resolution has led to a viral Instagram account, @fatgirlfedup, documenting their inspiring weight loss journey together with a whopping 463,000 followers.When the couple started their mission to shed the weight, Lexi Reed was 485 pounds and Danny Reed was 280 pounds.“I went from a size 28 to a size 10,” said Lexi Reed.“I went from a 46 all the way down to a 32,” Danny Reed, 29, added.Lexi Reed said they were "fed up" with the life they were living, so they set out to make a change -- hitting the gym, eating healthy and documenting it all on her Instagram account.“I never expected to have such an impact,” she said. “I just wanted to get healthy.”Fitness experts said one key to success is having someone else to lean on.“A workout partner is key. Accountability is everything,” celebrity fitness trainer Latreal Mitchell told ABC News. “Not every day you’re going to want to go out there and give it your all. At least you’ll have someone to say, ‘Come on. Today is my day to uplift you, and vice versa.’”Danny Reed now weighs 191 pounds and Lexi is down to 182, but they said this was no easy feat.“The hardest part of our journey was changing our relationship with food,” said Lexi Reed. “When I was 485 pounds, I never cooked. My husband and I would go out to eat for almost every single meal, and if we did cook at home, it was frozen pizza or anything else unhealthy. We found that by meal-prepping instead of relying on fast food, we were able to stick with our goals when we were at work. And by learning to cook our own meals, we were in charge of what we were eating. We were willing to learn every single day of our journey, and we also started using the gym as therapy instead of food. By changing our minds, habits and emotional triggers, we changed our lives.”The happy couple is excited to head into 2018 being the healthiest versions of themselves.“There are no words to explain the feeling of saving your own life,” said Lexi Reed. “Going into 2018, I have nothing but a newfound happiness for this life I am living. I no longer am a prisoner in my own body, and instead of just existing in my own life, I’m finally alive. Every day I wake up is a blessing.”Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --Flu season is officially off to an early start this year, according to researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemic Intelligence Service.The team of public health experts analyzed national data on flu trends and warned in a report published today that "several influenza activity indicators were higher than is typically seen for this time of year."The amount of flu activity recorded at this part of the season is the highest it has been in six years, according to data released by the CDC.The researchers added, however, that the predominant strain of the flu virus that has been spreading this year is one of the strains targeted in this year's flu vaccine. While they noted concerns that the current method of producing most flu vaccines, which involves the use of chicken eggs, is not perfect, they emphasized the importance of getting a flu shot in order to prevent the spread of the disease."Although influenza vaccine effectiveness can range widely from season to season, influenza vaccination is the most effective currently available method to prevent influenza and its complications," the report stated. "However, less than half of the U.S. population has been vaccinated in recent influenza seasons."While the severity and timing of flu outbreaks vary year to year, peak flu activity in the U.S. usually occurs during December through February, the researchers added."It is difficult to predict when influenza activity will peak for the current season; however, influenza activity will increase in the coming weeks," the report stated.The CDC's report observing heightened flu activity so far this season comes shortly after a team of international medical experts warned that the upcoming flu season in the U.S. could be a bad one, citing preliminary data from Australia, where the flu season is waning.The CDC states on its website that an annual flu vaccine is the "the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses."In addition, the CDC recommends avoiding close contact with sick people, limiting your contact with others when you feel sick and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, in order to prevent the spread of germs.Other actions the CDC recommends to stop the spread of the seasonal flu include washing your hands often with soap and water; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and disinfecting surfaces that may have been contaminated with flu germs.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Purestock/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) -- With the Christmas season upon us, it's easy to get lost in the to-do list of the holidays.But for the Agnew family of Salt Lake City, Utah, a visit from a stranger provided a memory they will never forget.Miles Agnew, 2, has been in hospice care for months, and his health had been in slow decline. Last week "his little body went into shock and has started to shut down. We don't know what happened," his mother, Michelle Agnew, told ABC News.He is now at Primary Children's Hospital where his "pain and discomfort can be managed," she said.Miles was born with microcephaly and also has spastic quad cerebral palsy, cortical vision impairment, intractable epilepsy, brain malformations and feeding intolerance. He was adopted by the Agnews when he was three months old. In addition to Miles, the Agnews have two children, Hailey, 13, and Taveon, 11.On Dec. 5, Miles and his siblings were treated to visit from Santa that was coordinated by the Secret Sleigh Project, an organization that matches medically fragile and home-bound children with Santa visits.Jerry Bodily, aka Santa, said the visit was an emotional one that hit close to home."Back in the 70s when I met my former wife, she had two daughters, her youngest had been diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and six weeks after we met, she lost her battle, so I knew what the family was going through. I can’t lie, I got choked up, and there was a tear in Santa’s eye, but this was for this family’s memory," he said.Sarah Portillo, founder of the Secret Sleigh Project told ABC News connecting with the Agnews was "no accident.""It brings more meaning to the Christmas season," she said. "It elevated my hope that perhaps we are all here to orchestrate small miracles, as long as we are open to the opportunity. I am very grateful that we were able to be a part of this family's day, in some small way, and I will never forget it."For Agnew, the day was incredibly special."With the turn in Miles' health and trying to make more memories as quickly as we can we didn’t think we would be able to do our Santa visit," Agnew said, adding that her family doesn't "take anything for granted. We treasure our time and our memories with our family so much. Although we have had so much heartache in our lives we try our hardest to keep moving forward."The Agnews lost two other children to genetic conditions.Despite all the pain she has experienced, Agnew said she remains grateful. "We are so fortunate for all the good times we’ve shared together and are so grateful for the friends, family and medical community that have supported us. Miles is such a special little boy who is very, very loved in our family."(Editor's note: Santas are still needed in some cities around the country to visit with children. See the list of where there's a need here.)Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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