HEALTH

Virginia’s COVID-19 infections are increasing again, but the latest spike is targeting the Southwest — a region that largely avoided significant case growth for much of the pandemic.Gov. Ralph Northam said Wednesday that he currently has no plans to place the area under more stringent safety restrictions or step...
By David Herzberg/ University at BuffaloPurdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin and other potentially addictive prescription opioids, has agreed to plead guilty to three felony counts and reached a settlement potentially worth at least $8.3 billion with the Justice Department.The deal could clear the way for Purdue to...
Virginia’s pared-down state spending plan retained one major priority for health advocates — a dental benefit for adult Medicaid patients.General Assembly budget negotiators restored roughly $17.5 million in state funding to implement the coverage by July 1 next year. The two-year spending agreement, announced Wednesday afternoon, still has to...
In late May, 536 people registered for one of the Richmond-Henrico Health District’s COVID-19 community testing events. Throughout the summer, including much of August, attendance rarely dipped below 150.But for the past few weeks, registration numbers have taken a dive. One of the district’s latest events, organized in the...
Three million dollars for public outreach. Nearly $2.5 million for refrigerators and thermometers. And more than $71 million for mass vaccination clinics, where hundreds of thousands of Virginians could be immunized against COVID-19.Virginia's plan, released to the Mercury Friday, shows the size and scale of a public health campaign...
From January to June this year, Virginia’s oldest hospitalized COVID-19 patient was 103. But there were also 46 coronavirus hospitalizations among children younger than five out of a total of 22,508, according to new data from the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association — including infants under the age of...
How much leeway states have to control drug middlemen was at the heart of arguments Tuesday before the U.S. Supreme Court.  The case, Rutledge v Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, pits 47 state attorneys general (including Virginia's) and the U.S. Solicitor General against an industry group representing three of the 20 largest...
A years-long fight over whether states have the authority to regulate important aspects of drug pricing will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday morning.At issue is whether prescription middlemen, known as "pharmacy benefit managers," will have to bow to state authority over a huge swath of their...
If state legislators didn’t already know about the birds and the bees, by the end of last week, they definitely knew about the BrdsNBz — a national sexual health textline rolled out in Virginia last year.The program became an unexpected highlight of the General Assembly’s budget discussions after Republicans...
By Dr. Irene MathieuThis spring, after stay-at-home orders were announced and schools shut down across the nation, many families stopped going to their pediatrician. As a result, kids have fallen behind on important childhood vaccinations.Vaccination rates declined starkly after mid-March, with up to 60% reductions in some areas of...