Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Play

Access to medication is key to HIV prevention, a Florida university uses a religious exemption to disband its faculty union, plus Nevada tribes and conservation leaders praise a new national monument plan.

Play

The House passed a bill to avert a crippling railroad strike, Hakeem Jefferies is chosen to lead House Democrats, and President Biden promises more federal-Native American engagement at the Tribal Nations Summit.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

WA Senator Sponsors Bill to Provide More Oversight for Medical Lab Tests

Play

Thursday, September 15, 2022   

Accurate lab tests are crucial for medical treatment, and Congress is considering a measure to provide more oversight.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., have co-sponsored the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements Act to better regulate diagnostic clinical tests.

Kristin Anderson, an immunotherapy researcher at the University of Washington and a cancer survivor, said an accurate test was crucial after her breast-cancer diagnosis. A lab test determined she had a specific gene mutation, known as BRCA, which helped tailor her chemotherapy treatment.

"Just knowing those pieces of information was really, really helpful when it came to what medicine I was going to receive," Anderson recounted. "It also really helped inform what kind of surgeries I went through."

Anderson pointed out people with the BRCA mutation have a high risk of recurrence, and so she received a double mastectomy to reduce her chances in the future. Under the measure in Congress, companies would have to register their tests with the FDA and provide performance information. Senate lawmakers approved the bill in June, and Congress is negotiating a final version.

Mark Fleury, policy principal of emerging science for the American Center Action Network, said through COVID-19 tests, most people now have the experience of relying on a lab test for health information. He emphasized laboratory-developed tests are mostly accurate and of high quality.

But he pointed to cases such as the company Theranos and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, who claimed to develop rapid diagnostic blood testing which was later revealed as a scam. He emphasized without third-party review of such tests, there is a lack of certainty for patients, and he believes the legislation is needed.

"Bring up the oversight system to the modern era," Fleury urged. "Treat it as a diagnostic test rather than as an artificial hip, and ensure that if two tests perform the exact same function, that they've been looked at in the exact same way."

Anderson added her gene-mutation test continues to influence her care because people with the BRCA mutation also are at risk for other types of cancer, such as ovarian cancer.

"There are risk-reducing, preventive surgeries that insurance covers for people who are at high risk like me," Anderson explained. "I was able to get those surgeries because I knew and had the information to ask, and my medical providers had the information to recommend."

A Pew poll released last year finds one in 10 Americans report an inaccurate clinical lab test result.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.


get more stories like this via email
An estimated 64,875 firefighter injuries occurred in the line of duty in 2020, according to the National Fire Protection Association. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Nebraska has had a number of deadly and destructive fires this year, and nearly half the state remains in extreme or exceptional drought. If it is as …


Social Issues

Illinois voters approved a "Workers' Rights Amendment" to the state constitution which broadens the state workforce's rights to collective bargaining…

Health and Wellness

The legal fight over North Dakota's abortion ban continues, and oral arguments about one element of the case were heard by the state Supreme Court …


Child poverty dropped to 5.2% during the pandemic because of the expanded Child Tax Credit and other relief efforts. (ktay21/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: Monthly amounts of the expanded Child Tax Credits were $250 (ages 0 to 5) to $300 (ages 6 to 17). An earlier version of this story had …

Environment

Wildlife biologists are warning Iowa hunters to have their deer tested for a deadly condition known to attack the animal's brain. Chronic Wasting …

Same-sex marriage became legal in Nevada in October 2014. (Ronstik/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Nevada marriage-equality groups say the U.S. Senate's passage of the Respect for Marriage Act is a huge step forward for people who identify as LGBTQ+…

Social Issues

After the calendar flips to December, South Dakota will see the return of colder temperatures during a period of higher natural-gas costs. Fire …

Environment

By Phil Roberts for Next City.Broadcast version by Edwin J. Viera for New York News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021