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Morning Break: ACA Sign-Up Dip; America’s BMI Creep; Surgical Robot Mishaps

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Sign-ups for coverage through the Affordable Care Act dipped only slightly from last year, contrary to expectations. (AP)

“Pure incompetence” is how The Washington Post described officials’ handling of an uptick in fatal opioid-related overdoses in the nation’s capital among a largely African-American population.

Meanwhile, a judge stopped New York state’s tax on makers and distributors of opioids. (Reuters)

Average BMI among U.S. adults hit 29.1 for men and 29.6 for women in 2015-2016 — both up more than a point since 2000, a CDC report indicated. (CNN)

Sanofi said its dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, was cleared for the European market, but only for patients with documented prior infection.

Major pharmaceutical companies are going back to raising prices starting in January. Price hikes on affected Novartis drugs, for example, will be around 5%. (U.S. News & World Report)

The human immune globulin product Bivigam won’t be returning to the U.S. market any time soon, said drugmaker ADMA Biologics. The FDA declined to approve the company’s relaunch application, apparently because of concerns about manufacturing processes.

The FDA is setting “interim limits” on the amount of two possible carcinogens that angiotensin receptor blockers such as valsartan may contain — based on estimated daily intakes that would lead to a 1:100,000 cancer risk with 70 years of exposure.

Will the Marlboro Man take up vaping? Tobacco giant Altria is set to invest $13 billion in e-cigarette leader Juul. (CNBC)

Machine versus man, part XIV: NBC News looks at patient injuries from the da Vinci surgical robot.

In upstate New York, an addiction medicine physician with his own history of substance abuse was arrested for importing heroin and cocaine — by having it delivered to his house in multiple packages. (New York Daily News)

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