Monday, 9/12, HLS Health Law Workshop with Patricia Zettler

September 12, 2016 5-7 PM
Hauser Hall, Room 104
Harvard Law School, 1575 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Download the Presentation: Pharmaceutical Federalism

Patricia J. Zettler is associate professor of law at Georgia State University College of Law. She has expertise in the regulation of medicine, biotechnology and biomedical research, with an emphasis on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Her research focuses on the interaction between state and federal regulation of medicine and science, the challenges that innovation poses for the FDA’s regulatory scheme, and the treatment use of experimental drugs and devices outside of clinical trials. Zettler’s scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in various legal and medical journals, including the Indiana Law Journal, San Diego Law Review, Yale Journal of Health Policy Law and Ethics, Journal of Law and the Biosciences, Boston University International Law Journal, JAMA Internal Medicine, EMBO Molecular Medicine, and Academic Medicine. Zettler teaches Torts, Health Law: Quality & Access, and Food and Drug Law.

Before joining Georgia State Law in 2015, she was a fellow at the Center for Law and the Biosciences at Stanford Law School. Prior to her fellowship, she served as an associate chief counsel in the FDA’s Office of Chief Counsel, where she advised the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services on various issues including drug safety, human subjects protection, expanded access to investigational drugs, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, prescription drug advertising and promotion, incentives for developing antibiotics and advisory committees. Read More

Corralling the Herd: California Medical Board Acts Against Anti-Vax Doc

This summer, California’s strict new childhood immunization law, barring all exemptions except those needed for medical purposes, went into effect for public and private schools, preschools, and day cares. This law was passed as a response to the highly-publicized 2014-2015 multi-state measles outbreak that originated at Disneyland, and also in response to the growing number of California communities with large clusters of families exempting their children from vaccine requirements, putting at risk community protection from vaccine-preventable illnesses.

As I’ve written about before, both here and in articles with Tony Yang, there are many different ways to structure childhood vaccination laws. While much of the attention goes to whether or not states offer parents the right to exempt their children based on religious and/or philosophical grounds — see, for example, the recent American Academy of Pediatrics report supporting mandated vaccination for school and daycare attendance —  there are many other implementation-related details in the laws that can increase or decrease the law’s efficacy at maintaining high vaccination coverage rates. For example, some states may require that exemption requests be filed annually (increases efficacy), some states require only that a form be correctly completed (decreases efficacy), some states allow for historically anti-vax practitioners, such as naturopaths, to complete medical exemption forms (decreases efficacy, and creates a new, permanent loophole for gaining exemptions), some states require that medical exemptions be reviewed and approved by a state public health officer (increases efficacy). Read More