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Medicare Coverage Of Aducanumab - Implications For State Budgets, Rachel E. Sachs, Nicholas Bagley Nov 2021

Medicare Coverage Of Aducanumab - Implications For State Budgets, Rachel E. Sachs, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

Aducanumab (Aduhelm), the controversial $56,000-per-year Alzheimer’s disease drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2021, has the potential to cost the federal government many billions of dollars — more, by one estimate, than it spends on agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The drug’s extraordinary price tag helps explain why, soon after its approval, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) opened a national coverage determination to decide whether and under what circumstances Medicare would pay for it.1


Medical Marijuana, Taxation, And Internal Revenue Code Section 280e, Douglas A. Kahn, Howard J. Bromberg Jun 2020

Medical Marijuana, Taxation, And Internal Revenue Code Section 280e, Douglas A. Kahn, Howard J. Bromberg

Articles

Congress enacted § 280E of the Internal Revenue Code in 1982 to punish businesses engaged in illegal drug trafficking, including marijuana. Section 280E denies all credits and deductions, including ordinary business expenses, from gross income of businesses illegally trafficking in a Schedule I or II controlled substance. This provision violates the principle that the tax code should foster a consistent treatment of income, regardless of source; and that the income tax is ill-used for punitive measures. Now that marijuana has been legalized in some form in at least 46 states for therapeutic purposes, this federal tax penalty transgresses principles of …


Importing Prescription Drugs From Canada — Legal And Practical Problems With The Trump Administration's Proposal, Rachel E. Sachs, Nicholas Bagley May 2020

Importing Prescription Drugs From Canada — Legal And Practical Problems With The Trump Administration's Proposal, Rachel E. Sachs, Nicholas Bagley

Articles

As Americans report ever-growing difficulty affording their prescription drugs, President Donald Trump has come under increasing pressure to act. To date, the Trump administration has attempted to advance a number of policy initiatives by means of executive action, but it has not yet adopted a program that would meaningfully assist patients. Most recently, the administration proposed a rule that, if finalized, would allow states to develop programs to import lower-priced prescription drugs from Canada, with the intent of reducing spending on drugs by U.S. patients and states and increasing access for patients.


The Cost Of Novelty, Will Nicholson Price Ii Mar 2020

The Cost Of Novelty, Will Nicholson Price Ii

Articles

Patent law tries to spur the development of new and better innova­tive technology. But it focuses much more on “new” than “better”—and it turns out that “new” carries real social costs. I argue that patent law promotes innovation that diverges from existing technology, either a little (what I call “differentiating innovation”) or a lot (“exploring innova­tion”), at the expense of innovation that tells us more about existing technology (“deepening innovation”). Patent law’s focus on newness is unsurprising, and fits within a well-told narrative of innovative diversity accompanied by market selection of the best technologies. Unfortunately, innovative diversity brings not only …


Opting Into Device Regulation In The Face Of Uncertain Patentability, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jun 2019

Opting Into Device Regulation In The Face Of Uncertain Patentability, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

This article examines the intersection of patent law, FDA regulation, and Medicare coverage in a particularly promising field of biomedical innovation: genetic diagnostic testing. First, I will discuss current clinical uses of genetic testing and directions for further research, with a focus on cancer, the field in which genetic testing has had the greatest impact to date. Second, I will turn to patent law and address two recent Supreme Court decisions that called into question the patentability of many of the most important advances in genetic testing. Third, I will step outside patent law to take a broader view of …


Cannabis For Medical Use: Fda And Dea Regulation In The Hall Of Mirrors, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Deborah B. Leiderman Mar 2019

Cannabis For Medical Use: Fda And Dea Regulation In The Hall Of Mirrors, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Deborah B. Leiderman

Articles

A majority of Americans now live in states that purport to authorize medical use of cannabis, although federal law continues to prohibit both recreational and medical use. The current legal regime for cannabis is unstable and may be more effective at deterring research than it is at deterring medical use. Lack of data on medical cannabis products poses public health risks as well as policy and legal challenges. Modified regulatory approaches for other kinds of products provide alternative models for encouraging safety and effectiveness research and providing better information about cannabis products already in clinical use.


The Orphan Drug Act At 35: Observations And An Outlook For The Twenty-First Century, Nicholas Bagley, Benjamin Berger, Amitabh Chandra, Craig Garthwaite Jan 2019

The Orphan Drug Act At 35: Observations And An Outlook For The Twenty-First Century, Nicholas Bagley, Benjamin Berger, Amitabh Chandra, Craig Garthwaite

Articles

On the thirty-fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Orphan Drug Act (ODA), we describe the enormous changes in the markets for therapies for rare diseases that have emerged over recent decades. The most prominent example is the fact that the profit-maximizing price of new orphan drugs appears to be greater today than it was in 1983. All else equal, this should reduce the threshold for research and development (R&D) investment in an economically viable product. Further, the small size of patient populations for orphan drugs, together with the increasing prevalence of biologics among orphan drugs, have created a set …


Limiting State Flexibility In Drug Pricing, Nicholas Bagley, Rachel E. Sachs Sep 2018

Limiting State Flexibility In Drug Pricing, Nicholas Bagley, Rachel E. Sachs

Articles

Throughout the United States, escalating drug prices are putting immense pressure on state budgets. Several states are looking for ways to push back. Last year, Massachusetts asked the Trump administration for a waiver that would, among other things, allow its Medicaid program to decline to cover costly drugs for which there is limited or inadequate evidence of clinical efficacy. By credibly threatening to exclude such drugs from coverage, Massachusetts hoped to extract price concessions and constrain the fastest-growing part of its Medicaid budget.


Drug Approval In A Learning Health System, W. Nicholson Price Jul 2018

Drug Approval In A Learning Health System, W. Nicholson Price

Articles

The current system of FDA approval seems to make few happy. Some argue FDA approves drugs too slowly; others too quickly. Many agree that FDA—and the health system generally—should gather information after drugs are approved to learn how well they work and how safe they are. This is hard to do. FDA has its own surveillance systems, but those systems face substantial limitations in practical use. Drug companies can also conduct their own studies, but have little incentive to do so, and often fail to fulfil study commitments made to FDA. Proposals to improve this dynamic often suggest gathering more …


Scientific Trials--In The Laboratories, Not The Courts, Nicholas Bagley, Aaron E. Carroll, Pieter A. Cohen Jan 2018

Scientific Trials--In The Laboratories, Not The Courts, Nicholas Bagley, Aaron E. Carroll, Pieter A. Cohen

Articles

In 2015, one of us published a peer-reviewed study, together with colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, replicating prior research from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) detecting a designer stimulant, β-methylphenylethylamine, in sports, weight loss, and “cognitive function” supplements sold in the United States. The confirmatory study prompted the FDA to take enforcement action against companies selling the stimulant as a dietary ingredient. One of the companies that received an FDA warning letter sued the study’s authors for $200 million in damages for libel, claiming, without supporting scientific evidence, that multiple statements in the article were …


Tax Treatment Of A Marijuana Business, Douglas A. Kahn, Howard Bromberg Jan 2017

Tax Treatment Of A Marijuana Business, Douglas A. Kahn, Howard Bromberg

Articles

Currently, twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes and permit the conduct of a business marketing of marijuana for that purpose. Eight of those states and the District of Columbia permit the recreational use of marijuana. There is reason to believe that more states will decriminalize the marketing of marijuana. However, marijuana is listed in Schedule 1 of the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA) which makes it illegal under federal law to manufacture or distribute marijuana even when it is legal to do so under local state law. In a …


A Liberal Dilemma: Respecting Autonomy While Also Protecting Inchoate Children From Prenatal Substance Abuse., Andrew J. Weisberg, Frank E. Vandervort Mar 2016

A Liberal Dilemma: Respecting Autonomy While Also Protecting Inchoate Children From Prenatal Substance Abuse., Andrew J. Weisberg, Frank E. Vandervort

Articles

Substance abuse is a significant social problem in America. It is estimated that some eighteen million Americans have an alcohol abuse problem and that almost five million have a drug abuse problem. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance abuse costs some $700 billion per year Substance abuse is a major contributor to child maltreatment. It is estimated that between one- and two-thirds of cases in which children enter foster care are linked to parental substance abuse. Unfortunately, this may be an underestimate as recent research suggests that many cases, particularly cases in which children have been exposed …


Manufacturing Barriers To Biologics Competition And Innovation, W. Nicholson Price Ii., Arti K. Rai Mar 2016

Manufacturing Barriers To Biologics Competition And Innovation, W. Nicholson Price Ii., Arti K. Rai

Articles

As finding breakthrough small-molecule drugs becomes more difficult, drug companies are increasingly turning to "large molecule" biologics. Although biologics represent many of the most promising new therapies for previously intractable diseases, they are extremely expensive. Moreover, the pathway for generic-type competition set up by Congress in 2010 is unlikely to yield significant cost savings. This Article provides a fresh diagnosis of and prescription for this major public policy problem. It argues that the key cause is pervasive trade secrecy in the complex area of biologics manufacturing. Under the current regime, this trade secrecy, combined with certain features of Food and …


Introducing Marijuana Law Into The Legal Writing Curriculum, Howard Bromberg, Mark K. Osbeck Jan 2016

Introducing Marijuana Law Into The Legal Writing Curriculum, Howard Bromberg, Mark K. Osbeck

Articles

Interest in marijuana law continues to grow, due in large part to the complicated and rapidly evolving landscape of marijuana laws in the United States. Nearly every day, newspapers report on new or proposed legislation and the legal controversies that have arisen with regard to this evolving landscape. There are now several marijuana-law blogs on the Internet, Congress is considering sweeping legislation that would essentially grant significant deference to the individual states, and public opinion continues to move in favor of increased legalization. For the last two years, Newsweek magazine has published special editions devoted exclusively to marijuana law and …


Food Deprivation: A Basis For Refugee Status?, James C. Hathaway Jul 2014

Food Deprivation: A Basis For Refugee Status?, James C. Hathaway

Articles

It is commonplace to speak of those in flight from famine, or otherwise migrating in search of food, as “refugees.” Over the past decade alone, millions of persons have abandoned their homes in countries such as North Korea, Sudan, Ethiopia, Congo, and Somalia, hoping that by moving they could find the nourishment needed to survive. In a colloquial sense, these people are refugees: they are on the move not by choice, but rather because their own desperation compels them to pursue a survival strategy away from the desperation confronting their home communities.

The question addressed here is whether persons in …


Actavis, The Reverse Payment Fallacy, And The Continuing Need For Regulatory Solutions, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2014

Actavis, The Reverse Payment Fallacy, And The Continuing Need For Regulatory Solutions, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

The Actavis decision punted more than it decided. Although narrowing the range of possible outcomes by rejecting the legal rules at the extremes and opting for a rule of reason middle ground, the opinion failed to grapple with the most challenging issues of regulatory policy raised by pharmaceutical patent settlements. In particular, it failed to clearly delineate the social costs of permitting and disallowing patent settlements, avoided grappling with the crucial issues of patent validity and infringement, and erroneously focused on “reverse payments” as a distinctive antitrust problem when equally or more anticompetitive settlements can be crafted without reverse payments. …


Taxing The Platypygous, James J. White Jan 2013

Taxing The Platypygous, James J. White

Articles

This Article maintains that obesity in the United States is an enormous public health issue that causes the health care costs of the obese Americans greatly to exceed those of citizens of normal weight. Recognizing that that much of that cost will be born by publicly financed programs and that the taxes supporting those programs will constitute an externality that the fat impose on the thin, the Article proposes a tax on high calorie food-but only when that food is purchased by the obese. The Article addresses many of the administrative, moral and other objections to a tax aimed at …


United States--Certain Measures Affecting Imports Of Poultry From China: The Fascinating Case That Wasn't, Donald H. Regan Jan 2012

United States--Certain Measures Affecting Imports Of Poultry From China: The Fascinating Case That Wasn't, Donald H. Regan

Articles

US–Poultry (China) was the first Panel decision dealing with an origin-specific SPS measure, or with what the United States referred to as an ‘equivalence regime’. More specifically, it was the first instance in which the basis for the challenged measure was the claimed inability of the complainant country to enforce its own food-safety rules. Unfortunately, as the litigation developed, the very interesting novel issues raised by such a measure were not discussed. This essay discusses those novel issues – in particular, what sort of scientific justification or risk assessment should be required for a measure like this, and what SPS …


Provigil: A Commentary, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2011

Provigil: A Commentary, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Michael Carrier's case study on Provigil' offers new support for the view that Big Pharma is to blame for stymieing competition, retarding innovation, and inflating prices in the drug industry. Carrier argues that Cephalon was able to thwart generic entry by a combination of anticompetitive strategies. It entered into a reverse payment settlement agreement with generics seeking to enter the market. These settlements purported to allow generic entry before the expiration of the patent period, but, according to Carrier, the promise of early entry was negated by the second prong of Cephalon's anticompetitive strategy. During the time that it had …


Two Masters, Carl E. Schneider Jan 2010

Two Masters, Carl E. Schneider

Articles

American government rests on the principle of distrust of government. Not only is power within the federal government checked and balanced. Power is divided between the federal government and the state governments. So what if a state law conflicts with a federal law? The Constitution says that the "Constitution, and the Laws of the United States ... shall be the supreme Law of the Land; ... any Thing in the ... Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." Sometimes the conflict between federal and state law is obvious and the Supremacy Clause is easily applied. But sometimes ...


Constitutional Flaw?, Carl E. Schneider Jul 2009

Constitutional Flaw?, Carl E. Schneider

Articles

Do terminally ill patients have a constitutional right "to decide, without FDA interference, whether to assume the risks of using potentially life-saving investigational drugs that the FDA has yet to approve for commercial marketing, but that the FDA has determined, after Phase I clinical human trials, are safe enough for further testing"? In Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs v. McClellan, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia said "no." In Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs v. von Eschenbach, a panel (three judges) of the United States Court of Appeals …


Pharma's Nonobvious Problem, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2008

Pharma's Nonobvious Problem, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

This Article considers the effect of the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in KSR International Co. v. Teleflex, Inc. on the nonobviousness standard for patentability as applied to pharmaceutical patents. By calling for an expansive and flexible analysis and disapproving of the use of rigid formulas in evaluating an invention for obviousness, KSR may appear to make it easier for generic competitors to challenge the validity of drug patents. But an examination of the Federal Circuit's nonobviousness jurisprudence in the context of such challenges reveals that the Federal Circuit has been employing all along the sort of flexible …


Drugged, Carl E. Schneider Jul 2006

Drugged, Carl E. Schneider

Articles

The Supreme Court's recent decision in Gonzales v. Oregon, like its decision last year in Gonzales v. Raich (the "medical marijuana" case), again raises questions about the bioethical consequences of the Controlled Substances Act. When, in 1970, Congress passed that act, it placed problematic drugs in one of five "schedules," and it authorized the U.S. attorney general to add or subtract drugs from the schedules. Drugs in schedule II have both a medical use and a high potential for abuse. Doctors may prescribe such drugs if they "obtain from the Attorney General a registration issued in accordance with the …


A Government Of Limited Powers, Carl E. Schneider Jul 2005

A Government Of Limited Powers, Carl E. Schneider

Articles

Roscoe C. Filburn owned a small farm in Ohio where he raised poultry, dairy cows, and a modest acreage of winter wheat. Some wheat he fed his animals, some he sold, and some he kept for his family's daily bread. The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 limited the wheat Mr. Filburn could grow without incurring penalties, but his 1941 crop exceeded those limits. Mr. Filburn sued. He said Claude Wickard, the Secretary of Agriculture, could not enforce the AAI's limits because Congress lacked authority to regulate wheat grown for one's own use. He reasoned: In our federal system, the states …


The Problem Of New Uses, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2005

The Problem Of New Uses, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

Discovering new uses for drugs that are already on the market seems like it ought to be the low-lying fruit of biopharmaceutical research and development (R&D). Firms have already made significant investments in developing these drugs and bringing them to market, including testing them in clinical trials, shepherding them through the FDA regulatory approval process, building production facilities, and training sales staff to market them to physicians. By this point, the drugs have begun to enjoy goodwill among patients and physicians and casual observations in the course of clinical experience may point to potential new uses. One might expect that …


Learning The Value Of Drugs - Is Rofecoxib A Regulatory Success Story?, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2005

Learning The Value Of Drugs - Is Rofecoxib A Regulatory Success Story?, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

Controversy over recent revelations concerning the adverse cardiovascular effects of selective cyclooxygenase- 2 (COX-2) inhibitors has generally been framed as a story of regulatory failure, in which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has failed in its mission to protect the public from unsafe products. But this simplistic understanding of the mission of the FDA seems to make failure all but inevitable, if the reliable observation of the risks and benefits of a drug requires rigorous long-term studies. Perhaps in an earlier era the goal of drug regulation was simply to protect the public from poisons. Today, drug regulation guides …


Border Patrol, Carl E. Schneider Jul 2003

Border Patrol, Carl E. Schneider

Articles

Recently, the Supreme Court has encountered cases that concern perhaps our weightiest bioethical issue-how medical care is to be rationed. But this does not mean that the Court must therefore assess the justice of rationing, as many people incited by many journalists now fondly and firmly believe. In explaining why, we begin with a story about how Learned Hand remembered saying one day to Justice Holmes, "Well, sir, goodbye. Do justice!" Holmes turned quite sharply and said: "That is not my job. My job is to play the game according to the rules." If the Court doesn't do justice, what …


Bayh-Dole Reform And The Progress Of Biomedicine, Arti K. Rai, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2003

Bayh-Dole Reform And The Progress Of Biomedicine, Arti K. Rai, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

Allowing universities to patent the results of government-sponsored research sometimes works against the public interest.


Going To Pot, Carl E. Schneider Jan 2003

Going To Pot, Carl E. Schneider

Articles

In several earlier columns, I suggested that judges are usually poorly placed to make good biomedical policy, not least because the law so rarely offers them direct and cogent guidance. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit proffered a new example of this old problem. In 1996, California's voters approved Proposition 215. Its "Compassionate Use Act of 1996" provided -that a patient "who possesses or cultivates marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician" committed no crime.


Bayh-Dole Reform And The Progress Of Biomedicine, Arti K. Rai, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2003

Bayh-Dole Reform And The Progress Of Biomedicine, Arti K. Rai, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

Advances in fundamental biomedical research play an important and growing role in the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic products. Although the development of pharmaceutical end products has long been a proprietary enterprise, biomedical research comes from a very different tradition of open science. Within this tradition, long-standing norms call for relatively unfettered access to fundamental knowledge developed by prior researchers. The tradition of open science has eroded considerably over the past quarter century as proprietary claims have reached farther upstream from end products to cover fundamental discoveries that provide the knowledge base for future product development.