April 2014—Public Health Law News
From the Public Health Law Program
Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The Network for Public Health Law names Donna Levin new national director. Donna Levin, General Counsel, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, has been named the new national director of the Network for Public Health Law. The Network provides assistance and resources to public health lawyers and officials on legal issues related to public health, including health reform, emergency preparedness, drug overdose prevention, health information privacy, and food safety. Find more information about the Network and their new national director.
- CDC Public Health Law Program Externship. The CDC Externship in Public Health Law consists of 9–14 weeks of professional work experience, for academic credit, with CDC’s Public Health Law Program in Atlanta, Georgia. The program features rolling start and completion dates throughout the academic year. It exposes law students to the public health field, allowing for exploration of the critical role law plays in advancing public health goals. The unpaid externship is open to second and third year law students who are interested in exploring careers in public health law. Participants must receive academic credit. Applications for the fall 2014 program must be submitted by May 31, 2014 and spring 2015 applications must be submitted by November 1, 2014. Find more information and apply for the externship program.
- O’Neill Institute fellowship program. The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law is seeking exceptionally qualified candidates to serve as O’Neill Institute Law Fellows. Housed at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., the O’Neill Institute is a leading research institute for health law. The final application deadline is Friday, April 25, 2014. Find more information and apply for the fellowship program.
- O’Neill Institute Summer Program. The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University will present two summer 2014 programs: 1) Emerging Issues in Food and Drug Law and 2) U.S. Health Reform—The Affordable Care Act. The summer programs convene leading practitioners, policymakers, advocates and academics in food and drug law, and U.S. healthcare reform for a series of interactive lectures, panel discussions, and case studies. Held during consecutive weeks, July 14–18 (Emerging Issues in Food and Drug Law) and July 21–25 (U.S. Health Reform—The Affordable Care Act), interested participants may attend one or both programs. The final registration deadline is June 15, 2014. Find more information and apply for the summer 2014 programs.
- 2014 Public Health Law Conference. The 2014 Public Health Law Conference will take place October 16–17, 2014, in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference will gather public health and legal experts from across the country to examine and discuss today’s critical challenges in public health law. Find more information about the conference and learn how to get the early bird registration rate.
- Selected federal legal authorities pertinent to public health emergencies. The Selected Federal Legal Authorities Pertinent to Public Health, originally published in 2009, has been updated to reflect the legislative and regulatory changes of the past five years. Public health professionals can use this document as a brief overview of the types of legal authorities granted to the federal government to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies. Find more information and read Selected Federal Legal Authorities Pertinent to Public Health Emergencies [PDF - 372KB].
- Guide for sharing laboratory test services. The Association of Public Health Laboratories published the new Laboratory Efficiencies Initiative “Policy Guide for Public Health Laboratory Test Service Sharing,” a resource that public health laboratory directors and their legal counsel can use in exploring legal questions related to public health laboratories’ sharing test services across states and other jurisdictions. Find more information and access the policy guide [PDF - 889KB].
- Webinar on promoting healthy communities and complying with federal restrictions.ChangeLab Solutions is offering the Providing Technical Assistance to Government Bodies under a Federal Grant webinar on May 14, 2014, (10:00 a.m. (PDT)/1:00 p.m. (EDT)). The in-depth webinar will provide practical information on how to comply with Office of Management and Budget circulars regarding allowable technical assistance. It will help attendees and their organizations comply with federal law regarding impermissible lobbying. State and local legal counsel are especially encouraged to attend. The webinar fee is $75.00. Find more information and register for the webinar.
- Fact sheet of state pharmacist collaborative practice laws. CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention released a fact sheet of state pharmacist collaborative practice laws. The fact sheet includes details about how many states authorize collaborative drug therapy management by physicians and pharmacists, whether pharmacists can prescribe drugs or order and interpret laboratory tests, whether the Board of Pharmacy must approve collaborative practice agreements, and whether specialized training or continuing education is required. Find more information and read the fact sheet [PDF - 227KB].
- Local health department accreditation resources. The National Association of County and City Health Officials has collected examples of documentation that local health departments use to meet Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) standards and measures. The Example Documentation Library is organized by PHAB measures and is a reference for local health departments working toward accreditation. Find more information and access the accreditation resources.
- HIPAA security risk assessment tool. A new security risk assessment tool to help guide health care providers in small to medium sized offices conduct risk assessments of their organizations is now available from the Department of Health and Human Services. Find more information and access the security risk assessment tool.
- National: U.S. drug firms move to bar antibiotic use in livestock growth
Reuters (03/26/2014) P.J. HuffstutterOn March 26, 2014, drug makers selling antibiotics used in livestock feed agreed to follow new guidelines that will make it illegal to use their products to create oversized animals. Under the new agreement, to which 25 of the 26 companies selling antibiotics for livestock agreed, growth promotion claims will be removed from the product labels. While farmers and ranchers will be able to continue using the antibiotics to treat sick animals, it will be illegal to use the drugs to promote livestock growth.The agreement comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) release of new guidelines aimed at stemming the rise in human resistance to antibiotics. Public health experts are worried the resistance to antibiotics is linked to the use of antibiotics in livestock feed and, subsequently, food products created from antibiotic-fed livestock. Though the FDA’s guidelines are voluntary, the agency expects drug makers to narrow their products’ use in full adherence to the new guidelines.Under the agreement, pharmaceutical companies will also require a veterinarian’s prescription or feed directive status for antibiotics that have been commonly added to food or water supply. Such prescriptions will no longer be sold over the counter at feed stores or retail outlets.Some feel the agreement is simply sidestepping the issue, however. “This plan is likely to lead to label changes, not a reduction in use,” said Avinash Kar, health attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Critics are concerned the guidelines give companies too much discretion without any external mechanism for enforcement.Others are more hopeful about the guidelines long-term effects. “The FDA and drug makers appear to have passed the first big test of the agency’s voluntary approach. There’s still a lot more to do,” said Laura Rogers, director of human health and industrial farming for The Pew Charitable Trusts.[Editor’s note: Find more information about the pharmaceutical companies’ agreement and the FDA’s plan to reduce antibiotics in food animals.]
- National: FDA approves device to combat opioid drug overdose
Washington Post (04/08/2014) Brady DennisThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first naloxone treatment designed to be used by laypeople and non-professional medical care providers. The treatment, a device named Evzio, is designed to administer the exact dose of Naloxone to patients who are known or suspected of overdosing on opioids such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and heroin.Naloxone, the standard treatment for opioid overdose, reverses the effects of opioid overdose. The new, pocket-sized device gives the user verbal prompts for use when activated. Symptoms of opioid overdose are changes in heart rate, extreme fatigue, and slowed breathing. Regulators and officials warned that the device should not be used in lieu of medical care for opioid overdose and that victims and care givers should still seek emergency care.Because opioid overdose symptoms usually appear and worsen quickly, allowing family members and care takers to administer Naloxone may save valuable time and therefore save more patients. The FDA estimates that the new device could prevent 16,000 deaths from prescription drug overdose annually.“For years, the lack of a lay-friendly delivery system has made it difficult to make naloxone broadly available to the public and to foster its use in non-medical settings, where it is often most urgently needed. [Evzio is] . . . an extremely important innovation that will save lives,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg.[Editor’s note: Find more information and read the FDA’s press release about the first naloxone treatment specifically designed to be given by family members or care givers.]
- Iowa: HIV transmission bill moves through house committee with revised criminal penalties
The Republican (03/12/2014) David PittIowa House Bill H8118 seeks to update Iowa’s criminal penalties for unknowingly exposing someone to HIV. Currently, exposing another to HIV without his or her consent is a felony crime punishable by up to twenty-five years in prison, even if the non-consenting individual is not infected with HIV. House Bill 8118 would create three classes of felonies and would consider whether the infected individual intended to infect another person. The new bill would also apply criminal penalties to transmission of meningitis, hepatitis, and tuberculosis.Iowa’s current law has come under fire because of Nick Rhoades’s conviction and twenty-five-year sentence for not telling a partner he was HIV positive when they had sex in 2008, despite the fact that Rhoades’ partner did not become infected with HIV from their low-risk encounter. Rhoades’ case is on appeal with the Iowa Supreme Court.Some Iowa lawmakers are tentatively hopeful about the proposed amendments to the law, while others, like Senator Matt McCoy, who has led efforts to change the law, are disappointed in the current proposal.“It needs substantial work in order to be something meaningful for those individuals that had worked on this. We need to focus on the issues that initially brought us to the table and that was individuals through no fault of their own being convicted of Class V felonies for engaging in safe sex practices and following their doctors’ consent,” McCoy said.[Editor’s note: Find more information about disease transmission criminalization laws inPrevalence and Public Health Implications of State Laws that Criminalize Potential HIV Exposure in the United States [PDF - 599KB], Aids and Behavior, published online March 15, 2014.Read Iowa House Bill H8118.]
- Kentucky: Law allows cannabis oil to treat children who suffer from seizuresMarijuana oil bill gets final legislative approval
The Courier-Journal (03/31/2014) Gregory A. Hall
[Editor’s note: Read Kentucky’s Senate Bill 124.]
- Massachusetts: Prescription Drug Take-Back Day April 26, 2014State officials promote National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
Westwood Patch (04/07/2014) Liz Taurasi
[Editor’s note: Find more information about National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day and find a collection site.]
- Texas: $3.75 million Medicaid billing settlement raises human error questionsMedicaid fraud settlement worried health providers
Texas Tribune (03/28/2014) Becca Aaronson
- Vermont: Governor issues emergency prescribing rules for opioidsVermont restricting access to powerful painkillers
Burlington Free Press (04/03/2014) Beth Garbitelli
- Washington: Newborns to have faster disease screening under new lawBill to speed up newborn screenings heads to Inslee
Spokesman-Review (03/12/2014) Jim Cameden
[Editor’s note: Find more information and read Washington’s Newborn Screening Law, RCW. 70.83.020 and 2010 chapter 94 section 18, which take effect on June 12, 2014 [PDF - 12KB].]
- National: Repeal of helmet laws linked to more fatalitiesFewer helmets, more deaths
New York Times (03/31/2014) Alastair Dant and Hannah Fairfield
[Editor’s note: Find more information and see the National Conference of State Legislatures’ map of state motorcycle helmet laws and fatality rates; learn more aboutCDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control’s work on motorcycle safety.]
- National: Fast food ads may target and mislead kids, despite industry promisesHealthy fast food advertising for kids goes unnoticed, study shows
Medical News Today (04/02/2014) Marie Ellis
[Editor’s note: Find more information about the study published March 31, 2014, in JAMA Pediatrics, Children’s Reaction to Depictions of Healthy Foods in Fast-Food Television Advertisements.]
- National: Only 14.7 percent of U.S. adults without health insuranceNumber of Americans without health insurance reaches new low
Los Angeles Times (04/07/2014) Noam N. Levey
[Editor’s note: Find more information about the Gallup Survey, Percentage Uninsured in the U.S., by Quarter, published April 7, 2014.]
- New York: Penal law does not give rise to private right of action against EMTRennix v. Jackson
Supreme Court, Kings County
Case No. 21628/10
Opinion by Judge Carolyn E. Demarest
- Massachusetts: Boston Church not negligent under Architectural Access Board rulesPatterson v. Christ Church in the City of Boston
Supreme Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk
Case No. 13-p-354
Opinion by Justice William J. Meade
- Federal: Common-law battery “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence”United States v. Castleman [PDF - 177KB]
Supreme Court of the United States
Case No. 12-1371
Opinion by Justice Sonia Sotomayor
[Editor’s note: Find more information about the U.S. Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban or “Lautenberg Amendment” 18 U.S. Code § 922 and read the U.S. Law.]
- Federal Agency: Proposed Medigap contract could violate anti-kickback statuteOIG Advisory Opinion No. 14-02 [PDF - 134KB]
Office of Inspector General
Opinion by Gregory E. Demske
[Editor’s note: Lear more about the U.S. Social Security anti-kickback law, 42 U.S.C. 1320a-7b.]
“Overdose and death resulting from misuse and abuse of both prescription and illicit opioids has become a major public health concern in the United States,” said Bob Rappaport, M.D., director of the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Addiction Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Evzio is the first combination drug-device product designed to deliver a dose of naloxone for administration outside of a health care setting. Making this product available could save lives by facilitating earlier use of the drug in emergency situations.”
About Public Health Law News
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