World map where continents are in blue pixels

Global Health Justice and Governance: Challenges and Proposals

A panel discussion held this week at Harvard Law School with Professor Jennifer Prah Ruger about her new book, “Global Health Justice and Governance,” with Professor Michael Stein and Petrie-Flom Center Executive Director Carmel Shachar, provided a stimulating space for transdisciplinary discussion of critical justice imperatives in today’s world.

The challenges facing global health justice—from forced displacement, to climate change, to ever-changing technologies and evolving epidemiological profiles—are far too complex for one discipline to explain or resolve alone, which makes these kinds of discussions all the more essential. Read More

Protesters hold up signs that read "everyone deserves healthcare"

The Future of Health Care? How States are Trailblazing Medicaid Buy-In Programs

States can be laboratories of health reform.

Massachusetts and Oregon expanded insurance coverage during previous periods of federal inaction, and with solutions unlikely to come from a politically divided Washington D.C., how will states tackle the problem of health insurance becoming increasingly unaffordable and unattainable for many families?

Is there a role for the government to play a greater role in making health insurance affordable and accessible? As public support for action on health care grows, what options are available to states now?

I spoke to former Petrie-Flom Student Fellow and Medicaid policy scholar Emma Sandoe about states that have begun to explore Medicaid Buy-In policies, which allow people to purchase government backed health insurance or Medicaid-like plans. Read More

World map where continents are in blue pixels

Jennifer Prah Ruger: The World Needs a New Global Health Architecture

In a world beset by serious and unconscionable health disparities, by dangerous contagions that can circle our globalized planet in hours, and by a bewildering confusion of health actors and systems, humankind needs a new vision, a new architecture, new coordination among renewed systems to ensure central health capabilities for all. In her new book, “Global Health Justice and Governance,” Dr. Prah Ruger lays out the critical problems facing the world today and offers a new theory of justice and governance as a way to resolve these seemingly intractable issues.  Read More

Abstract representation of DNA double helix

Gene Editing and Intellectual Property: A Useful Mix?

The Health Policy and Bioethics Consortia is a monthly series that convenes two international experts from different fields or vantage points to discuss how biomedical innovation and health care delivery are affected by various ethical norms, laws, and regulations.

They are organized by the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics and the Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law (PORTAL) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in collaboration with the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School. Support provided by the Oswald DeN. Cammann Fund at Harvard University.

A light lunch will be provided. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required. Please note that attendees will need to show ID in order to enter the venue. Register now!

 

One way of thinking about genome editing is through the lens of the legal and ethical obligations of ensuring the technology is deployed safely and accurately, for the betterment of human society.

Or, if that’s a mouthful for you, genome editing’s rights—and wrongs. Which brings me to a talk I’ll* be giving at Harvard Medical School on March 8: “Genome Editing: Rights and Wrongs” I feel obligated, however, to asterisk the personal pronoun (“I”) because, in truth, what I’ll be doing is sharing the stage with one the world’s most celebrated scientists, George Church, world-renowned bioethicist, Jeantine Lunshof, and moderated by health policy guru, Aaron Kesselheim. Read More

Black-Box Medicine: Legal and Ethical Issues

Join us on Friday for Health Policy Biothics Consortium!

Black-box medicine—the use of opaque computational models to make care decisions—has the potential to shape health care by improving and aiding many medical tasks. For example, IBM Watson for Oncology is a machine-learning system that intends to help clinicians quickly identify essential information in patients’ medical records and explore treatment options for 13 cancers. However, it has only recently emerged that the recommendations Watson for Oncology gave for cancer treatments were “often incorrect” and that IBM kept this defect secret for over a year. What are the ethical and legal issues of black-box medicine? When do algorithms operate like a “black box“? How can we ensure that artificial intelligence technologies deliver what they promise? Read More

3 Things You Should Know About the Petrie-Flom Center’s 2019 Annual Conference

Breakthroughs in genetics have often raised complex ethical and legal questions, which loom ever larger as genetic testing is becoming more commonplace, affordable, and comprehensive, and genetic editing becomes poised to be a consumer technology. As genetic technologies become more accessible to individuals, the ethical and legal questions around the consumer use of these technologies become more pressing.

We are excited, therefore, to have many major thought leaders in this space discuss these issues at the Petrie-Flom Annual Conference, “Consuming Genetics: Ethical and Legal Considerations of New Technologies,” which will take place at Harvard Law School in May. Read More

Friday: FDA Chief Counsel Stacy Cline Amin and more at 7th Annual Health Law in P/Review

This year brought with it a wave of interesting issues in the health law arena—be it questions of limiting health care access to immigrants, the ongoing challenges of the opioid epidemic, or the ever-changing landscape of drug pricing.

Join us as we unpack the major health law developments of 2019 and discuss what to watch for in the year to come. Over the course of the day, leading experts will consider hot topic issues such as, health policy under the current administration, pharmaceutical policy, and global health. Featured panel discussions include “Challenges Facing Health Care General Counsels” and “AI in Health Care.”

In addition to panel discussions and speaker presentations, the conference will feature a special Fireside Chat between Glenn Cohen and Stacy Cline Amin, who serves as Chief Counsel of the Food and Drug Administration and Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Health and Human Services. She previously served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Associate Counsel to the President, serving as the senior legal advisor on matters relating to the Department of Health and Human Services. Stacy will offer a window into what 2019 holds for the FDA.

 

This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and registration is required. Register now!

The Seventh Annual Health Law Year in P/Review is sponsored by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School and the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School, with support from the Oswald DeN. Cammann Fund at Harvard University.

Anya Prince on Gene Therapy and Exacerbating Health Care Inequalities

Anya Prince, a legal scholar and thought leader in the field of genetic discrimination, will present a new paper at Monday’s Health Law Workshop that interrogates whether gene therapies will exacerbate inequalities in health care, as more treatments enter the market. “Gene Therapy’s Field of Dreams: If You Build It, Will We Pay?” focuses on some of the many issues raised by the prices of gene therapies.
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Can Computer Simulations Enhance Vaccine Trials?

Infectious disease emergencies are opportunities to test the efficacy of newly developed interventions—for example, drugs, vaccines, and treatment regimens. Yet they raise many intertwined challenges around politics, logistics, ethics, and study design.

It is essential to advance the discussion of how such products can and should be tested while remaining consistent with the efforts of CEPI, WHO, and others who encourage development and testing of candidate vaccines in advance of emergencies. Read More