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'Medical sandbox' legislation in danger of being dropped for the year

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Wellness GM / Flickr, Creative Commons: flickr.com/photos/130100316@N04/15728773073/
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Members of the Virginia state Senate are considering a bill that would expedite the approval process for prescription drugs and medical devices. Some senators have concerns.

Getting a new prescription on the market can take as long as a decade. And getting a medical device out can take as long as five years. That's why Senator Bill Stanley of Franklin County says Virginia needs a medical sandbox to expedite the approval process for prescription drugs, medical devices and medical technology.

"Government gets in the way of good business. Government gets in the way of business," Stanley says. "Government is scared, terrified of anything that makes sense, makes good common sense or is innovative even. What are we afraid of? Success?”

Senator Barbara Favola is a Democrat from Arlington, and she says there's quite a lot to worry about.

"We're allowing products to the market without a license or authorization at all, although it's a limited access," she says. "Not even a provisional license, and I have to say to myself where is there some molecule of consumer protection?"

The bill was introduced by Delegate Glenn Davis of Virginia Beach, who is trying to figure out some kind of amendment that might make the legislation more acceptable to Senate Democrats.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.