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Health Highlights: June 25, 2013

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

Calif. Inmates Must be Moved Due to Fungus Threat: Judge

Thousands of inmates must be moved out of two California prisons because they are at high risk of being infected with a potentially deadly airborne fungus, a federal judge ruled Monday.

U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson issued the order for mostly black, Filipino and medically at-risk inmates at Avenal and Pleasant Valley state prisons. They account for about 3,250 of the two prisons' 8,100 inmates, the Associated Press reported.

The judge made the ruling because these inmates face the greatest risk from valley fever, a fungal infection that originates in the soil of the San Joaquin Valley, where the two prisons are located.

Henderson gave the state 90 days to fully comply. The state is reviewing the judge's order, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Deborah Hoffman told the AP.

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Generic Drug Makers Not Responsible for Drug Design Defects: U.S. Supreme Court

Generic drug makers can't be sued by patients who claim that medicines they took were defectively designed, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The 5-4 decision overturned the 2010 verdict of a New Hampshire jury that awarded $21 million to a woman who developed a serious skin disease after taking a generic version of the pain medication sulindac, The New York Times reported.

The generic drug maker in the case, the Mutual Pharmaceutical Company, was required by federal law to make a copy of the brand name drug Clinoril and could not be held responsible for claims that the generic drug was unsafe, the court said.

While the ruling is a major victory for the generic drug industry, it limits the legal options for people who are injured by generic drugs.

"Now, presumably, a patient harmed by those drugs has no remedy, either through a defective warning or a defective design argument," Bill Curtis, a Houston lawyer who specializes in pharmaceutical cases, told The Times.

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No Further Cancer Treatment Required for Former Quarterback Jim Kelly

Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly has confirmed that he does not require chemotherapy or radiation to further treat the cancer found in his jaw.

Earlier this month, Kelly underwent surgery to remove part of the jaw. Speaking to reporters at the opening of his football camp Monday, Kelly said his doctors told him the surgery was successful in removing all traces of cancer, NBC News reported.

Kelly said he will continue to be monitored every couple of months to guard against a return of the cancer.

The support of people in Buffalo during his struggle with cancer meant a lot to him, Kelly said, NBC News reported.


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