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Painkiller Ban Raises Constitutional Questions

April 8th, 2014
BOSTON (AP) -- A federal judge says Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick might have been "out of line" in ordering a first-in-the-nation ban of Zohydro, a powerful new painkiller. U.S. District Court Judge Rya Zobel on Tuesday considered a...

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass. Cuts Narcotic Prescriptions

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April 8th, 2014
BOSTON (AP) -- The largest health insurer in Massachusetts has cut prescriptions of narcotic painkillers by an estimated 6.6 million pills in 18 months as part of a campaign to curb abuse. Executives from Blue Cross Blue Shield of...

Flu Season Continues Through April

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April 7th, 2014
WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB)- Flu season peaks in the middle of winter, but you are not out of the clear yet. Many healthcare facilities are busy now treating people with the flu. Influenza "A" was the common diagnosis throughout most of the...

Springfield Celebrates Public Health

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April 7th, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) --April is Public Health Month in Springfield. This morning, the city celebrated with a kick-off event at City Hall. From reducing teen pregnancies and infant mortality to increasing the number of children who are...

New Painkiller Banned from Mass. Pharmacy Shelves

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April 3rd, 2014
(WGGB) -- In response to the public health emergency of growing heroin overdoses and opioid addiction, the state has banned the painkiller Zohydro. The ban was approved last week after the Governor's declaration. Massachusetts health officials...

She bet she'd lose — and won!

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April 3rd, 2014
At her heaviest, Sara Lugger weighed 342 pounds. At 5 feet 9 inches tall, she had a BMI of 50. A few days after her 34th birthday, Lugger realized that reaching 350 pounds would be "unacceptable." She made a pact with herself to make...

CDC: E-Cigarette Poisoning Calls on the Rise

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April 3rd, 2014
(Image Courtesy: CDC) (WGGB) -- A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that poisoning calls involving e-cigarette fluids are on the rise. In findings released Thursday in the agency's Morbidity and...

Massachusetts to Curb Smoking in Public Housing

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April 3rd, 2014
BOSTON (AP) -- The Patrick Administration is moving to stamp out smoking in public housing. The Department of Housing and Community Development on Thursday issued guidelines to all 240 local housing authorities urging them to develop...

US Approves Easy-to-Use Heroin Overdose Antidote

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April 3rd, 2014
By LAURAN NEERGAARD and MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) -- Friends and family will be able to take the first step to save a loved one from an overdose of heroin or powerful painkillers called opioids. The Food and...

FDA OKs 1st Hay Fever Allergy Immunotherapy Tablet

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April 2nd, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first tablet for gradually reducing hay fever allergy symptoms, an alternative to uncomfortable allergy-desensitizing shots. Oralair, a tablet that dissolves quickly...

Singer drops 60 pounds, boyfriend

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March 28th, 2014
At her heaviest, the 5-foot-tall Nina Osegueda weighed more than 180 pounds. At her wedding in 2009, Osegueda was at her lowest weight of 125 pounds. Osegueda works out three to four times a week. Here she is in 2013, at the gym,...

Mass. Health Officials: We’ve Cleared Backlog

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March 27th, 2014
BOSTON (AP) -- Massachusetts health officials say they've eliminated an application backlog that stood at 72,000 two months ago. Officials say they have also extended transitional health insurance coverage to 125,000 people, up from 32,000 in...

CDC: US Autism Estimate Grows to 1 in 68 Children

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March 27th, 2014
by MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer NEW YORK (AP) — The government increased its autism estimate on Thursday to 1 in 68 U.S children. That's a 30 percent jump from the last federal estimate of 1 in 88 children with autism or a related...

North Adams Hospital, Affiliates to Shut Down

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March 26th, 2014
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (AP) -- More than 500 people are without a job and patients across northern Berkshire County are looking for answers following the announced closure of North Adams Regional Hospital and its affiliates. Northern Berkshire...

Baystate Surgeon Discusses Study on Social Media’s Impact on Self-Image

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March 25th, 2014
(WGGB) -- Social media are changing the way we communicate and get information, but a new study argues that they're also changing the way we view ourselves. The American Academy of Facial and Reconstructive Surgery found that social media and...