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Health Highlights: March 11, 2013

NYC Ban on Large Sugary Drinks Shut Down by State Judge Sanofi Under Investigation Over Plavix More Than 100 Passengers Fall Ill on Cruise Ship

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

NYC Ban on Large Sugary Drinks Shot Down by State Judge

A ban on the sale of large sugary drinks in New York City that was set to start Tuesday was instead shelved after a state Supreme Court judge ruled that city officials were not allowed to enforce regulations that are "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences."

According to the New York Post, the move was a huge setback for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has made public health issues a clarion call during his administration.

In the ruling, New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling wrote that, "The simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole... the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the state[d] purpose of the rule."

Earlier Monday, city officials had explained the reasoning behind the ban.

"The obesity epidemic has led to massive increases in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, which can result in blindness, kidney failure, amputations and more," Deputy Mayo Marc LaVorgna told the Post . "One in three adult New Yorkers now either has diabetes or a condition known as pre-diabetes, a state where blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetes and the person is at risk for developing diabetes in the future."

Bloomberg had predicted that the ban would have been widely accepted. Under the ban, selling any sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces would have resulted in a $200 fine. The fines would not have gone into effect until June.


Sanofi Under Investigation Over Plavix

Sanofi's disclosures to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about its widely used blood thinner Plavix are being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department, the Associated Press reported Monday.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, the French drug company said it had learned in June about the probe, which focuses on differing responses to the drug, the AP reported.

Sanofi said it is cooperating with the investigation. It jointly markets Plavix with Bristol-Myers Squibb.

In June 2010, the FDA warned that certain patients with a genetic variation can't metabolize Plavix, putting them at increased risk for heart attack and stroke, the AP reported.


More Than 100 Passengers Fall Ill on Cruise Ship

More than 100 passengers aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship were sickened by a gastrointestinal illness that might have been norovirus.

ABC News reported the incident on Friday, although the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention did not yet have information on the incident.

Almost 2,000 passengers and 772 crew members were traveling on Vision of the Seas, which had pulled into Port Everglades, Fla., Friday as it concluded an 11-night Caribbean cruise, according to ABC News.

The ill passengers were given over-the-counter medication while on the ship and had responded well, Royal Caribbean International said.

In a statement to ABC News on Friday, the cruise line said: "At Royal Caribbean International, we have high health standards for all our guests and crew. During the sailing, we conduct enhanced cleaning on board the ship to help prevent the spread of the illness. Additionally, when Vision of the Seas arrived to Port Everglades, Fla., today, we conducted an extensive and thorough sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal to help prevent any illness from affecting the subsequent sailing."

Another Vision of the Seas cruise set sail late Friday afternoon, although Royal Caribbean said passengers were given the option of rescheduling their cruise if they were not comfortable traveling on that ship at this time.

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