Health and Medicine

Patients with a terminal illness would have expanded access to investigational drugs under Senate legislation that has been given preliminary approval by the House of Delegates. 

The bill would allow manufacturers to supply the medicine when all other treatment options have been exhausted. The legislation—which has been dubbed the “Right to Try” bill—was inspired by a young boy in the Commonwealth who fought for access to an investigational drug last year.

One of every 68 children in this country has now been diagnosed with some degree of autism – a disability that makes it difficult for them to communicate and learn.  Virginia requires insurance companies to pay for an intensive treatment called Applied Behavior Analysis until the age of seven, but parents say care should be available for as long as a child needs it, and a bill making its way through the legislature could lift the age limit.

E-Consults Help Patients Save Time & Money

Feb 16, 2015

The University of Virginia is one of six university medical centers to win a $7  million dollar grant from the federal government that should save patients time and money while providing better care.

When you go to your primary care doctor with a complaint, he or she might refer you to a specialist, but the University of Virginia Medical Center has another idea – one that could save time and money.  The E-Consult program allows family doctors who are part of UVA’s health sustem  to send a patient’s medical record along with a request for advice.

Photo: David Trawin,

Virginia’s medical marijuana law may soon be expanded.  The House of Delegates has given preliminary approval to legislation that would allow the prescribed use of certain oils derived from marijuana if they are used for the treatment of epilepsy.  The legislation appears to be sailing through both chambers of the General Assembly.

Cancer Breakthrough at UVA

Feb 8, 2015
University of Virginia School of Medicine

Scientists at the University of Virginia have made what could be an important breakthrough in treating cancer.  They’ve discovered a substance released by lung cancer cells that enables them to spread – beginning their deadly march to other parts of the body.  Biochemist Marty Mayo says finding that substance, called Activin A, could lead to a simple blood test for certain cancers.