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Pharmaceuticals

University of Michigan Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 Intellectual Property Of Vaccines: Takeaways From Recent Infectious Disease Outbreaks, Ana Santos Rutschman Apr 2020

The Intellectual Property Of Vaccines: Takeaways From Recent Infectious Disease Outbreaks, Ana Santos Rutschman

Michigan Law Review Online

In late 2019 and early 2020, a new strain of coronavirus, a family of pathogens causing serious respiratory illness, began infecting populations across the globe. A quick uptick in COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel pathogen, prompted the World Health Organization to declare the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020. By mid-February 2020, with 26 countries reporting cases of COVID-19 infection, the global case count had surpassed 50,000, and had resulted in over 1,500 deaths. The World Health Organization elevated the status of the outbreak to a pandemic in mid-March. As of early …


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 …


Prescription Restriction: Why Birth Control Must Be Over-The-Counter In The United States, Susannah Iles Jan 2020

Prescription Restriction: Why Birth Control Must Be Over-The-Counter In The United States, Susannah Iles

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Note argues that it is harmful and unnecessary to require women to obtain prescriptions for access to hormonal birth control. Requiring a prescription is necessarily a barrier to access which hurts women and hamstrings the ability to dictate their own reproductive plans. It is also an irrational regulation in light of the relative safety of hormonal birth control pills, particularly progestin-only formulations, compared to other drugs readily available on the shelves.

Leading medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, advocate for over-the-counter access to hormonal birth control. While acknowledging that not every woman will have positive …


Tell Me How It Ends: The Path To Nationalizing The U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry, Fran Quigley Jan 2020

Tell Me How It Ends: The Path To Nationalizing The U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry, Fran Quigley

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The U.S. medicines system is broken. Millions of Americans suffer and some even die because they cannot afford medicines discovered by government-funded research. At the same time, corporations holding monopoly patent rights to those medicines collect some of the largest profits in modern capitalist history.

It does not have to be this way. The global legacy of treating essential medicines as a public good and the robust U.S. history of government seizure of private property for the public interest reveals a better path: the United States should nationalize its pharmaceutical industry.

U.S. statutory law already provides broad powers for the …


The Pharma Barons: Corporate Law's Dangerous New Race To The Bottom In The Pharmaceutical Industry, Eugene Mccarthy Oct 2018

The Pharma Barons: Corporate Law's Dangerous New Race To The Bottom In The Pharmaceutical Industry, Eugene Mccarthy

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

In this Article, I argue that drug companies have created a highly profitable but dangerous business model by employing the same legal tactics as the nineteenth-century “robber barons,” the group of financiers who orchestrated corporate law’s infamous race to the bottom. Like these historical financiers, drug company executives have captured the legal apparatus and regulatory bodies that oversee them. In so doing, they have transformed the law from a system of governance into a set of enabling doctrines. The pharmaceutical industry has turned legislation intended to protect the public into a legal justification for marketing ineffective and unsafe prescription drugs. …


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 …


Suggestions For State Laws On Biosimilar Substitution, Gary M. Fox May 2018

Suggestions For State Laws On Biosimilar Substitution, Gary M. Fox

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Biologic drugs offer major advancements over small-molecule drugs when it comes to treating serious diseases. Biosimilars, which mimic innovative biologic drugs, have the potential to further revolutionize the practice of medicine. States now have decades of experience regulating the substitution of generic, small-molecule drugs for their brand-name equivalents. But the complexities of biologic drugs and biosimilars force states to confront novel scientific and legal issues. Many states have begun tackling those issues by passing laws that regulate when pharmacists may substitute biosimilars for their corresponding biologic drugs. Other states have yet to do so. This Note surveys five provisions common …


Improving Generic Drug Approval At The Fda, Kathleen Craddock May 2018

Improving Generic Drug Approval At The Fda, Kathleen Craddock

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

Generic drugs are the store-brand cereal of the drug world. While they lack the vibrant colors of and exciting commercials behind name brands, generics are still effective. Most importantly, for some people, they make the difference between accessing essential treatment and going without. Getting generics to market as quickly as possible means fewer people will cut pills in half or skip doses to save money, which also saves billions of dollars across the U.S. health system. Because a new generic does not offer lifesaving changes for people with rare or complicated diseases, generics lack the “cultural capture of rhetoric about …


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 …


Renovations Needed: The Fda's Floor/Ceiling Framework, Preemption, And The Opioid Epidemic, Michael R. Abrams Jan 2018

Renovations Needed: The Fda's Floor/Ceiling Framework, Preemption, And The Opioid Epidemic, Michael R. Abrams

Michigan Law Review

The FDA’s regulatory framework for pharmaceuticals uses a “floor/ceiling” model: administrative rules set a “floor” of minimum safety, while state tort liability sets a “ceiling” of maximum protection. This model emphasizes premarket scrutiny but largely relies on the state common law “ceiling” to police the postapproval drug market. As the Supreme Court increasingly holds state tort law preempted by federal administrative standards, the FDA’s framework becomes increasingly imbalanced. In the face of a historic prescription medication overdose crisis, the Opioid Epidemic, this imbalance allows the pharmaceutical industry to avoid internalizing the public health costs of their opioid products. This Note …


The Uneasy Case For Patent Law, Rachel E. Sachs Jan 2018

The Uneasy Case For Patent Law, Rachel E. Sachs

Michigan Law Review

A central tenet of patent law scholarship holds that if any scientific field truly needs patents to stimulate progress, it is pharmaceuticals. Patents are thought to be critical in encouraging pharmaceutical companies to develop and commercialize new therapies, due to the high costs of researching diseases, developing treatments, and bringing drugs through the complex, expensive approval process. Scholars and policymakers often point to patent law’s apparent success in the pharmaceutical industry to justify broader calls for more expansive patent rights.

This Article challenges this conventional wisdom about the centrality of patents to drug development by presenting a case study of …


The Cost Of Confusion: The Paradox Of Trademarked Pharmaceuticals, Hannah Brennan Oct 2015

The Cost Of Confusion: The Paradox Of Trademarked Pharmaceuticals, Hannah Brennan

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

The United States spends nearly $1,000 per person annually on drugs—forty percent more than the next highest spender, Canada, and more than twice the amount France and Germany spend. Although myriad factors contribute to high drug spending in the United States, intellectual property law plays a crucial and well-documented role in inhibiting access to cheaper, generic medications. Yet, for the most part, the discussion of the relationship between intellectual property law and drug spending has centered on patent protection. Recently, however, a few researchers have turned their attention to a different avenue of exclusivity—trademark law. New studies suggest that pharmaceutical …


An Administrative Meter Maid: Using Inter Partes Review And Post-Grant Review To Curb Exclusivity Parking Via The "Failure To Market" Provision Of The Hatch-Waxman Act, Brian T. Apel Oct 2015

An Administrative Meter Maid: Using Inter Partes Review And Post-Grant Review To Curb Exclusivity Parking Via The "Failure To Market" Provision Of The Hatch-Waxman Act, Brian T. Apel

Michigan Law Review

Congress created the unique Hatch-Waxman framework in 1984 to increase the availability of low-cost generic drugs while preserving patent incentives for new drug development. The Hatch-Waxman Act rewards generic drug companies that successfully challenge a pharmaceutical patent: 180 days of market exclusivity before any other generic firm can enter the market. When a generic firm obtains this reward, sometimes drug developers agree to pay generic firms to delay entering the market. These pay-for-delay agreements give rise to exclusivity parking and run counter to congressional intent by delaying full generic drug competition. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act created …


Patent Punting: How Fda And Antitrust Courts Undermine The Hatch-Waxman Act To Avoid Dealing With Patents, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2015

Patent Punting: How Fda And Antitrust Courts Undermine The Hatch-Waxman Act To Avoid Dealing With Patents, Rebecca S. Eisenberg, Daniel A. Crane

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Under the Hatch-Waxman Act, patent law and FDA regulation work together to determine the timing of generic entry in the market for drugs. But FDA has sought to avoid any responsibility for reading patents, insisting that its role in administering the patent provisions of the Hatch-Waxman Act is purely ministerial. This gap in regulatory oversight has allowed innovators to use irrelevant patents to defer generic competition. Meanwhile, patent litigation has set the stage for anticompetitive settlements rather than adjudication of the patent issues in the courts. As these settlements have provoked antitrust litigation, antitrust courts have proven no more willing …


Pay-For-Delay Settlements In The Wake Of Actavis, Michael L. Fialkoff May 2014

Pay-For-Delay Settlements In The Wake Of Actavis, Michael L. Fialkoff

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

“Pay-for-delay” settlements, also known as reverse payments, arise when a generic manufacturer pursues FDA approval of a generic version of a brand-name drug. If a patent protects the brand-name drug, the generic manufacturer has the option of contesting the validity of the patent or arguing that its product does not infringe the patent covering the brand-name drug. If the generic manufacturer prevails on either of these claims, the FDA will approve its generic version for sale. Approval of a generic version of a brand-name drug reduces the profitability of the brand-name drug by forcing the brand-name manufacturer to price its …


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. …


Interpreting Biological Similarity: Ongoing Challenges For Diverse Decision Makers, Sarah M. Cork Jan 2013

Interpreting Biological Similarity: Ongoing Challenges For Diverse Decision Makers, Sarah M. Cork

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Similarity is an elusive and complicated concept facing comparisons of biological molecules, as even minute changes to a molecule's structure can dramatically affect its function in the body. Yet the flood of biologic drugs on the market will increasingly force these similarity comparisons. These concerns are particularly relevant to two groups of drugs: families of biologic drugs that closely resemble each other in structure and function, here termed "similar-impact biologics," and the biosimilars, which are intended to closely approximate generic forms of biologic drugs. In bringing biologic drugs to the market, manufacturers are likely to face dual obstacles: FDA approval …


Prometheus Rebound: Diagnostics, Nature, And Mathematical Algorithms, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2013

Prometheus Rebound: Diagnostics, Nature, And Mathematical Algorithms, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

The Supreme Court’s decision last Term in Mayo v. Prometheus left considerable uncertainty as to the boundaries of patentable subject matter for molecular diagnostic inventions. First, the Court took an expansive approach to what counts as an unpatentable natural law by applying that term to the relationship set forth in the challenged patent between a patient’s levels of a drug metabolite and the indication of a need to adjust the patient’s drug dosage. And second, in evaluating whether the patent claims add enough to this unpatentable natural law to be patent eligible, the Court did not consult precedents concerning the …


A New Prescription To Balance Secrecy And Disclosure In Drug-Approval Processes, Gerrit M. Beckhaus Sep 2012

A New Prescription To Balance Secrecy And Disclosure In Drug-Approval Processes, Gerrit M. Beckhaus

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

To obtain approval to market a drug, a manufacturer must disclose significant amounts of research data to the government agency that oversees the approval process. The data often include information that could help advance scientific progress, and are therefore of great value. But current laws in both the United States and Europe give secrecy great weight. This Article proposes an obligatory sealed-bid auction of the sensitive information based on the experience with similar auctions in mergers and acquisitions, to balance manufacturers' interest in secrecy and the public interest in disclosure.


Patents And Regulatory Exclusivity, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Apr 2012

Patents And Regulatory Exclusivity, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Book Chapters

This article reexamines the sources of exclusivity for drugs, considers their limitations, and evaluates exclusivity under the new biologics legislation in light of these limitations. The current overlapping legal protections for exclusivity in the pharmaceutical marketplace reflect a series of political compromises, repeatedly renegotiated to correct for unintended consequences in the previous version of the rules. Patents and patent challenges play a central role in this system of protection, and many of the patents at stake are ultimately held invalid in litigation. It is not easy to untangle a complex legal regime that allocates billions of dollars of profits. But …


Regulating By Repute, David Zaring Apr 2012

Regulating By Repute, David Zaring

Michigan Law Review

Is regulation a hopeless cause? Many thoughtful observers spend a lot of time enumerating all of the reasons why it is doomed to fail. The entire field of public choice, with impeccable logic, posits the likely corruption of every bureaucrat. And if corruption cannot explain the failure of regulation, the atrophy that comes from lack of competition-there is just one government, after all, and it does not have a profit motive-may be just as rich a vein to mine. It could also be that the legal system itself, with its myriad complexities, checks, and procedural requirements, may ossify to the …


Compounding Reform: Reconsidering The Draft Safe Drug Compounding Act Of 2007 In Light Of The Ongoing Fungal Meningitis Outbreak, Colleen Nicholson Jan 2012

Compounding Reform: Reconsidering The Draft Safe Drug Compounding Act Of 2007 In Light Of The Ongoing Fungal Meningitis Outbreak, Colleen Nicholson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Compounding is the act of combining, mixing or altering ingredients to create a drug tailored to the needs of an individual patient, such as a child who needs a less potent dose, an elderly patient who has trouble swallowing, or an individual with a severe allergy to a drug component. Compounding pharmacies, which engage in large-scale drug compounding, have come under the microscope recently because of the ongoing deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis that began in 2012. Fungal meningitis “occurs when the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord are infected with a fungus.” The recent outbreak was caused …


Patents V. Statutory Exclusivities In Biological Pharmaceuticals - Do We Really Need Both, Yaniv Heled Jan 2012

Patents V. Statutory Exclusivities In Biological Pharmaceuticals - Do We Really Need Both, Yaniv Heled

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

Over the past decade or so, the United States has been the arena of a boisterous debate regarding the creation of a new regulatory framework for the approval of generic versions of biologics-based pharmaceutical products (also known as "biological products" and "biologics")--an important and increasingly growing class of drugs. The basic purpose of such a framework is to create a fast and less-costly route to FDA approval for biologics that would be similar or identical to already-approved biological products--typically ones that are sold on the market at monopoly rates--thereby allowing cheaper versions of such medicines to enter the market. One …


Off-Label Promotion Reform: A Legislative Proposal Addressing Vulnerable Patient Drug Access And Limiting Inappropriate Pharmaceutical Marketing, Tim Mackey, Bryan A. Liang Sep 2011

Off-Label Promotion Reform: A Legislative Proposal Addressing Vulnerable Patient Drug Access And Limiting Inappropriate Pharmaceutical Marketing, Tim Mackey, Bryan A. Liang

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Off-label promotion occurs when pharmaceutical manufacturers engage in promotion of unapproved or "off-label" uses of their drugs. These off label uses may lack adequate clinical data to substantiate marketing claims, have led to corporate investigations and penalties, and can endanger public health. However there is adequate evidence to suggest that off-label uses are entirely appropriate for some vulnerable patient populations, and that physicians have accepted such uses as standard. Historically, U.S. law has prohibited direct off-label promotion to physicians and patients. However, failed government guidance, industry-based litigation, and the diminished capacity of regulators to police illegal practices have had dire …


Litigating Against An Epidemic: Hiv/Aids And The Promise Of Socioeconomic Rights In South Africa, Nathaniel Bruhn Sep 2011

Litigating Against An Epidemic: Hiv/Aids And The Promise Of Socioeconomic Rights In South Africa, Nathaniel Bruhn

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

With one of the highest incidence rates in the world, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has taken a large toll on South Africa. Despite medical advances that have made the disease more manageable, many South Africans still do not have access to the medicines needed to control the disease. At the same time, the Constitution of South Africa grants individuals far-reaching socioeconomic rights, including the right to access health care. This Comment explores the intersection of the socioeconomic rights and the HIV/AIDS crisis. Although the Constitutional Court has developed a deferential approach to enforcing socioeconomic rights, substantial room remains to litigate on …


Breaking Patents, Daniel R. Cahoy Apr 2011

Breaking Patents, Daniel R. Cahoy

Michigan Journal of International Law

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Boeing aircraft company worked to address the rising cost of jet fuel by inventing lighter metal alloys for use in aerospace materials. Among its discoveries was a method of producing aluminum-lithium alloys with high "fracture toughness," and in 1989, Boeing received a patent for the process. Five years later, another aerospace company working as a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contractor, Lockheed Martin, was attempting to solve a similar problem related to materials used in the space shuttle. Lighter materials were necessary for future shuttle missions to transport components of the International Space …


Public Non-Commercial Use' Compulsory Licensing For Pharmaceutical Drugs In Government Health Care Programs, Pier Deroo Feb 2011

Public Non-Commercial Use' Compulsory Licensing For Pharmaceutical Drugs In Government Health Care Programs, Pier Deroo

Michigan Journal of International Law

Suppose a relatively prosperous nation with universal public health coverage faces an HIV/AIDS crisis. It refuses to negotiate with the patent-holding manufacturers of the best antiretrovirals (ARVs) available, instead issuing compulsory licenses. Compulsory licenses permit the generic drug manufacturers designated in the compulsory licenses to make, use, import, and sell the patented ARVs without the permission of the patent owners, increasing competition and lowering prices. Realizing that drugs are much cheaper without patents, the nation decides to issue another round of compulsory licenses for an extensive list of patented drugs for its universal health care program. While improving public access …


Hatch-Waxmanizing Copyright, Michal Shur-Ofry Jan 2011

Hatch-Waxmanizing Copyright, Michal Shur-Ofry

Michigan Telecommunications & Technology Law Review

This Essay presents a novel proposal for counter balancing "copyright overspills." In the background of the discussion is the common reality of users succumbing to rights holders' attempts to license uses which are most likely fair uses or completely free of copyright protection. These practices have attracted considerable attention in recent literature. Most scholarly proposals in this context emphasize the need to clarify the contours of the fair use doctrine and to remove doctrinal ambiguities. Yet these initiatives are probably insufficient to overcome users' risk aversion in copyright markets due to an inherent structural imbalance within copyright law. While the …