IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Featured on ABC 10News in Counterfeit Drug Story
May 18, 2013. The presence of counterfeit and substandard drugs in the US legitimate supply chain has been of increasing concern with recent convictions of physicians buying and using unapproved foreign drugs on patients, and how the Internet increases these risks. ABC 10News interviewed Professor Bryan Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey, and featured the IHLS San Diego Health Policy conference discussing these issues.
Dr. Liang and Tim Mackey demonstrated how they set up their own illicit online pharmacy advertisements across social media settings and the low cost and limited oversight of these advertisements. They called for greater oversight of the Internet and accreditation of online pharmacies to protect patient safety.
The story was both an online news story and a featured ABC 10News story. It is titled, “Counterfeit drugs online and from doctors disturb experts, FBI,” and aired on May 18, 2013. Dr. Liang and Tim Mackey were interviewed by Cristen Severance. The story and interviews can be found at http://www.10news.com/news/counterfeit-drugs-online-and-from-doctors-disturb-experts-fbi-051713.
Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang Quoted by Cleveland Plain Dealer on Counterfeit Drug Bills
May 16, 2013. Penetration of the legitimate drug supply chain by counterfeit drugs has grown, and along with it, Congressional concern. Recently, bills have been introduced to promote tracking and tracing of drugs and other strategies to combat drug fakes. The Cleveland Plain Dealer asked Professor Bryan Liang to comment.
Professor Liang noted that all countries face the challenges of counterfeit drugs, even highly regulated systems like the USA, pointing to the Avastin case (where hundreds of US physicians have been notified regarding purchase of a fake version of this cancer drug). He added most detected counterfeit drugs are lifesaving, like cancer drugs, and the problem is growing and urgently needs to be addressed. He praised the bills under consideration, and called for Congressional action to address this criminal and public health problem.
The story is “Rep. Bob Latta's plan to thwart fake drugs passes House of Representatives committee,” by Sabrina Eaton, in the May 16, 2013 edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang Presents Global Counterfeit Drug Analysis for Europol and the Pharmaceutical Security Institute
April 25, 2013. The global crisis in counterfeit drugs has affected the developed and the developing countries alike. The recent counterfeit cancer drug Avastin recently has impacted over 100 practices across the United States. Europol, the joint European police organization, and the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, the leaders of security for the pharmaceutical industries, asked Professor Bryan A. Liang to brief them on confidential information and analysis of the counterfeit drugs issue.
“This opportunity to work with the public and private sectors through our research has provided some real knowledge is addressing this criminal, public health issue,” noted Professor Liang. “With Tim Mackey’s work, our analysis has provided some significant inroads as to strategic measures to address the global harms from counterfeit medicines.”
Professor Liang and Senior Research Association Tim Mackey have been engaged extensively in assessments of the global counterfeit drugs issue. Professor Liang was the only academic invited to the White House meeting on the topic, while Mr Mackey has been invited and attended the UN Office of Drugs and Crime expert meeting on the topic this past February.
IHLS Hosts 9th Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference
March 22, 2013. With the increasingly interdependent nature of health around the world and the influence of technology on the health delivery setting, a critical need exists to assess the interactions between technology and global health. These issues were addressed at the recent San Diego Health Policy Conference, “Technology and Global Health.”
The event was covered by 10News San Diego, including in depth interviews with speakers at the Conference. The speakers were a diverse set of individuals that have extensive experience with challenging issues surrounding global health policy. These included Thomas Kubic, MPA, President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute and former FBI Deputy Assistant Director for White Collar Crime; John Theriault, MBA, Institute of Medicine Member, Committee on Falsified and Substandard Drugs, former Head of Security, Pfizer, and former Head of Security, Apple Computer, Inc.; Commander James Balcius, MS, MPH, US Navy; Tim Mackey, MAS, Senior Research Associate, IHLS, California Western School of Law, and Clinical Instructor, Department of Anesthesiology, UCSD School of Medicine, and Coordinator for Global and Domestic Health Policy Research, Joint MAS Program in Health Policy & Law, CWSL-UCSD; and Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD, Executive Director and Shapiro Distinguished Professor, IHLS, California Western School of Law, and Professor of Anesthesiology, UCSD School of Medicine, and Medical and Legal Director, Joint MAS Program in Health Policy & Law, CWSL-UCSD. Over 50 people attended the conference, including CWSL JD alumni, JD students, MAS alumni and MAS students.
The proceedings of the 9th San Diego Health Policy conference will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology.
IHLS Member, Kimberly Lovett, Quoted in Consumer Reports Cover Story Discussing Cancer Screening
February 18, 2013. With increased consumer awareness about cancer screening and with increased direct to consumer advertising of cancer screening modalities, patients and consumers are at risk of pursuing unwarranted and unproven cancer screening services. Consumer Reports asked Dr. Kimberly Lovett, IHLS member, for her comments.
Dr. Lovett noted that while consumers are “compelled toward screening and prevention as a means to secur[ing] health,” the data on many of these testing modalities simply does not yet support screening. Indeed, Dr. Lovett noted, “the system is breaking under consumer demand for screening and preventive care” and both patients and physicians are dissatisfied with the lack of resources.
The story is “Save Your Life: 3 Cancer Tests You Need Plus 8 You Don’t” in the March 2013 Consumer Reports periodical.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Attends UNODC Technical Meeting of Experts on the Trafficking in Fraudulent Medicine
February 16, 2013. Fraudulent medicines, or "counterfeit" medicines pose a serious threat to public health and patient safety and are increasingly becoming an issue of priority for the international community. Perpetuating this global public health risk are transnational criminal organizations who manufacturer, traffic and sell counterfeit medicines globally. As the United Nations specialized agency charged with providing a comprehensive and coordinated response to organized crime prevention and strenthening criminal justice capacity, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has become a leader in the fight against fraudulent medicines. In February 2013, the UNODC held a high-level meeting of experts to address this issue. Senior Research Associate Tim K. Mackey was invited to attend along with other internationally renowned experts in the field.
Recognizing this growing crisis in global health delivery and security, the UNODC convened the high-level technical meeting of experts comprised of representatives from international organizations, NGOs, member states, industry representatives, business associations, and regulatory and law enforcement officials to discuss the illicit production, distribution and trafficking of fraudulent medicines. Mr. Mackey was one of only a handful of members from the academic community to be invited to attend.
The meeting was held February 15-16 at the United Nations Vienna International Centre in Vienna, Austria, the headquarters of the UNODC. It was attended by several high-level speakers including the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization, the President of Interpol, and the Executive Director of UNODC.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey and Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Referenced in New WHO, WIPO, WTO study "Promoting Access to Medical Technologies and Innovation - Intersections between Public Health, Intellectual Property and Trade”
Feb. 5, 2013. Globalization and economic integration of the world’s populations is creating tensions between access, innovation, and public health. The globe’s key public health, intellectual property, and trade organizations, the World Health Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the World Trade Organization, recently released a highly anticipated report to review the understanding of the interplay between health, trade and intellectual property policies, and of how they affect innovation and access to medical technologies.
The study highlighted leading data, analysis, and foundational works of the role of intellectual property in access to care. Of note, it referenced key work by IHLS Senior Associate Tim Mackey and IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang on potential barriers to generic availability of non-communicable disease (NCD) drugs, such as cancer and chronic disease treatments. In contrast to perceptions and positioning of multiple international organizations, they found that there were literally no intellectual property or exclusivity rights associated with the active pharmaceutical ingredient, dosage, or administration that blocked generic availability of these products. Hence, they conclude more sophisticated analysis of NCD barriers to generic availability and affordability should be conducted in order to ensure equitable access to global populations for these essential medicines.
The WHO, WIPO, WTO study is available here. Tim K. Mackey and Bryan A. Liang’s article is “Patent and Exclusivity Status of Essential Medicines for Non-Communicable Disease,” published in PLOS ONE, available here.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Discusses Student Self-Funded Student Health Plans and Proposed Regulations for the Affordable Care Act
February 1, 2013. With the release of proposed regulations of self-funded “minimal essential benefits” plans needed under healthcare reform, self-funded college student health plans have been designated as fulfilling these requirements, but have come under scrutiny for their limited coverage. CNN asked Professor Bryan A. Liang for his comments.
Professor Liang noted that the proposed regulations are an important harbinger and signal for what areas will be focused upon in upcoming regulatory debates. He also noted that there are protections built into the proposed regulations, including the ability for the Secretary to revoke self-funded student health plan status of covering minimum essential benefits. Overall, he indicated that these proposed regulations are an important signal as to how and what regulators will be assessing in the near future.
The story is “Some students may not enjoy Obamacare protections,” by Jen Christensen, posted on the CNN website on Feb. 1, 2013.
IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang Gives Biopiracy Lecture in UCSD MAS Seminar Series
January 29, 2013. As the pipelines for new drugs are increasingly drying up, drug discovery efforts have centered around indigenous ethnomedicine knowledge and severe environments. Although this “bioprospecting” has resulted in important discoveries by pharmaceutical companies, the exclusion of use through intellectual property rights, i.e., biopiracy, remains a significant problem.
Professor Bryan A. Liang outlined the challenges in this arena at the UCSD MAS Seminar Series. He focused upon the dual public and private nature of indigenous peoples exploitation, and the need for global governance reform (with penalties) to promote responsible benefits-sharing bioprospecting, while eliminating biopiracy. He also proposed a stable fund akin to the World Bank grant program for effective biodiversity development. Finally, he noted that global health concerns will require all stakeholders, public and private, to come together to address biopiracy concerns.
Dr. Liang’s presentation was “Nagoya’s Not Enough: Protecting Indigenous Peoples from Biopiracy Using Informed Global Governance.”
Dr. Bryan A. Liang Presents on Public Health Perceptions and Disaster Response at UCSD Preventive Medicine Seminar Series
January 25, 2013. As the potential threats of emergencies and disasters, both natural and human-sourced, continue to grow as the world becomes smaller, the potential for health delivery crises increases. First responders must therefore be highly cognizant of the ethical and moral concerns that will accompany their decisions during and after they are made. Professor Bryan A. Liang, who has expertise in advising and participating in disaster preparedness, gave a presentation on the inevitable conflicts that will occur during these situations.
Dr. Liang noted that the models of “triage” that are understood to be ethically appropriate for medical care providers may not match up with patient preferences, nor match with other first responder priorities such as military officers. Further, the hindsight bias that is extant when evaluating care during these crises also represents another source of criticism and potential prosecution during such circumstances. Professor Liang provided warnings and advice on how to address these concerns, as well as engage the community so that decisions on treatment will be founded upon commonly understood standards.
The presentation was titled “Disasters and First Responders: Addressing Perceptions Before the Event.”
San Diego Physician Honors IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang as a Featured Mentor
Jan 2, 2013. Physician leadership and actions rely not only upon focused study and application, but also effective mentorship. San Diego Physician issued a call for outstanding mentors to be featured in its annual "Our Mentors ... Guiding the Way" issue. Professor Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD, was featured as one of these mentors. Kimberly Lovett, MD, an IHLS member, provided for his nomination.
"I am, of course, deeply humbled by this recognition," said Professor Liang. "Our roles as mentors provides us with the tremendous benefit and fulfillment in working with the next generation of physicians. So many contribute to the development of our future leaders, and if I may play a small role in that effort, I truly have an embarrassment of riches."
The story is "Our Mentors ... Guiding the Way" in the December 2012 edition of San Diego Physician.
IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Featured in Endocrine News Story on Counterfeit Drugs
December 12, 2012. The increasing concerns regarding the safety of the drug supply have come to the forefront as the incidence of discovered pharmaceutical fakes has increased. As developing as well as developed countries are experiencing penetration of their legitimate supply chains, Endocrine News interviewed Professor Bryan Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey, key opinion leaders on global drug supply safety.
They noted that the Internet has created a significant set of vulnerabilities for introduction of counterfeit and substandard drugs. As well, they note the ease by which both the supply and sale through suspect online vendors has been a root cause of this issue. The formation of joint public-private partnerships in this realm as well as global cooperation is essential, they note, to effectively ensure accountability for those illicitly selling prescription drugs online.
The story is "Imposters in the Medicine Cabinet," by Shannon Fischer in the December 2012 issue of Endocrine News.
IHLS Member, Kimberly Lovett, Presented to the Stanford Law School, Center for Law and Biosciences on the Direct-to-Consumer Medical Marketplace and Screening for Disease
November 27, 2012. With the explosion of the online direct-to-consumer medical marketplace, consumers are at significant risk of purchasing screening tests that are not evidence based. Dr. Lovett presented work published by herself and coauthors Dr. Bryan A. Liang and Mr. Timothy Mackey.
Dr. Lovett highlighted the large number of screening tests available direct-to-consumer, the lack of evidence supporting these tests, and the risks involved in offering them direct-to-consumer. Dr. Lovett also discussed possible regulatory reforms and legislative efforts that might help mitigate those risks.
The talk, “The Direct-to-Consumer Medical Marketplace and Screening for Disease” took place in Stanford, California on November 27, 2012.
IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang Interviewed on Pharmaceutical Drug Cartels in Mexico
November 20, 2012. The issue of illicit drug sales on the border between USA and Mexico has become a tremendous challenge for law enforcement in both countries. However, this trade is now expanding to pharmaceuticals. Zeta Tijuana Magazine interviewed Professor Bryan A. Liang to determine the extent of this new development.
Professor Liang noted that the expansion to licit versions of drugs by cartels have been facilitated to business-to-business websites that sell these chemicals and the extensive traffic over the USA-Mexico border daily. Further, smuggling is also a tremendous challenge for border workers. He recommended targeted financial transactions and transfers to address this illicit trade.
The article (in Spanish) is "Farmacárteles," in the November 20, 2012 issue of Zeta Tijuana Magazine.
Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Awarded First Prize in San Diego Organization for Health Care Leaders Student Poster Competition
November 16, 2012. The San Diego Organization of Healthcare Leader is the local chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a leading professional organization for San Diego and Imperial County's healthcare communities. This year during the 4th Annual SOHL Conference "A Paradigm Shift", SOHL held a student poster competition for graduate students to present their research to a diverse group of conference attendees including clinicians, health care administrators, researchers, the business community and other health care leaders nationally.
Tim Mackey, IHLS' Senior Research Associate and PhD Candidate in the Joint Doctoral Program in Global Health at UCSD-SDSU presented IHLS research on the vulnerabilities of social media marketing use by illicit online drug sellers. Following presentation and scoring by the judges, Mr. Mackey was awarded first prize and a cash award.
Mr. Mackey's research poster was entitled, "Illicit Social Media Direct-to-Consumer Advertising for Online Pharmacies". The SOHL Annual Conference was held at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla.
IHLS Attends San Diego County Medical Society’s Seminar
November 15, 2012. With the increasing need for better healthcare and medical malpractice reform, there has been higher malpractice risks among the office practice setting. The San Diego County Medical Society held a short seminar titled: "Top 10 Patient Safety Issues for the Office Practice". The purpose of this seminar was to provide practical strategies and guidance to the physician and office managers.
The objectives were: to be able to identify the risks unique to the office practice setting, learn new strategies for follow up that will decrease malpractice risks and to learn practical strategies for improving patient safety. IHLS alumni, Ms. Arlene Luu was the presenter and provided very clear cut ways to better manage a healthcare office to ensure compliance and patient safety.
IHLS Particpates in San Diego Network for CME Professionals Quarterly Meeting
November 13, 2012. The increasing pressures on providing continuing medical education (CME) in a program that is appropriate, useful and culturally competent have grown with the recent health care reform concerns and state mandates involving healthcare access. In order to stay in compliance with programs, the San Diego Network of CME Professionals met to address the new reform issues and how to best meet the new standards.
The meeting gave the Institute of Health Law Studies the opportunity to share its new upcoming programs and to also learn how and what events the local hospitals are pursuing. Pam Tait is the IHLS CME Coordinator, and keeps the communication going for all of its events. IHLS is the only law school in the nation that has achieved CME accrediting status since January 2005.
IHLS Participates in County-Wide San Diego Beach Cleanup
November 10, 2012. It was a clear San Diego morning when IHLS put on their working gloves and grabbed a plastic bucket to pick up trash and debris along the Pacific Coastline. The group met at Cardiff State Beach on the sand early in the morning hours and worked until lunch time.
It was a great collaboration from hundreds of people from various local groups. Debris along our coastal shores is an important public health and environmental concern in San Diego and is growing each year. By participating in public service, IHLS is helping to ensure the safety of San Diego’s citizens and visitors.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Attends French Embassy Dinner in DC for IHLS Member Louise Gresham, PhD
November 2, 2012. IHLS Member Louise Gresham, PhD, has been appointed as CEO of Fondation Mérieux USA. To celebrate her inauguration, a dinner in her honor was held at the French Embassy in Washington, DC. Professor Bryan A. Liang, IHLS Executive Director and UC San Diego Professor of Anesthesiology and Director of the San Diego Center for Patient Safety, was one of the 12 invitees, which included FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and French Ambassador to the United States, The Honorable François Delattre. Professor Liang was the only academic invited to the event.
The Fondation Mérieux focuses upon global health issues and the control of infectious disease around the world. Dr. Gresham is the organization's first CEO in the USA.
IHLS Program Administrator Participates in CWSL Giving Thanks Campaign
November 1, 2012. Being an appointed member of the Staff Development Committee at CWSL, Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator, aided in the setup of the month long Giving Thanks Campaign for all faculty and staff. This event is one that allows any faculty or staff member to post a thank you to a colleague that has provided something special to them.
Boards were setup in the break lounges with cards and pens set out for anyone to share their gratitude to someone. The overall goal of this campaign is to generate positive feedback to those on campus who have gone above and beyond their duties and done something special for someone. The campaign is held for the entire month of November.
Government Accountability Office Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang for Illicit Online Pharmacy Report
October 31, 2012. With the growing concerns regarding the safety of the global supply chain, government efforts are intensifying in attempting to understand and address the issue. The Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress charged with examining matters relating to the receipt and payment of public funds, interviewed Professor Bryan A. Liang as a key opinion leader and leading researcher in the field.
Dr. Liang noted the scope and development of both illicit marketing as well as the dynamic nature of this global, illegal industry. He also provided details on strategic plans and efforts in public-private partnerships in which he is involved, and outlined some of the findings from the Council on Foreign Relations project on a similar issue. Dr. Liang also served on this CFR project.
The GAO Report will be released at the end of 2012-beginning of 2013.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Gives Multiple Presentations at the 2012 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting
October 31, 2012. The 140th American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Exposition is the olderst and largest gathering of public health professionals in the world and is attended by more than 13,000 participants. The event consists of more than 1000 scientific sessions, roundtables, posters, pre-convention APHA Learning Institutes and panel discussions at which over 5,000 scientific papers are presented. It is attended by a global audience including healthcare professionals, educators, public health specialists, policy makers and other researchers. Mr. Mackey conducted 2 oral presentations and moderated a session during this year's meeting.
Mr. Mackey presented on the topic of global tobacco control measures using health warnings on cigarette packaging and labeling and its intersection on trade and health. This included discussion regarding tobacco industry legal challenges in various international fora to prevent the use of packaging interventions designed to curb global tobacco use. Mr. Mackey presented a legal argument in favor of these public health-based interventions and advocated for policy harmonization.
Mr. Mackey also presented on the topic of the need for better global health governance to combat the global distribution of counterfeit medicines. Counterfeit medicines impact populations around the world, including developed and developing countries. In order to combat this illicit trade, innovative forms of governance that seek to develop partnerships between UN-specialized agencies such as the WHO, UNODC and Interpol are necessary.
Mr. Mackey's presentations were entitled, “Evolution of Tobacco Labeling and Packaging: Global Health Governance and Trade Policy” conducted in the Trade and Health Forum section, and "Searching for Better Global Health Governance for Dangerous Counterfeit Medicines" conducted in the Drug & Trade Policy & Pharmacy Services: Providing Safe Drugs and Services section. Mr. Mackey moderated the session, "Public Health Strategies to Address Trade and Trade Policy" The oral presentations took place October 30-31 at the 2012 APHA Annual Meeting inSan Francisco, CA.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Selected for ASPH Student Leadership Institute and Named Chair of APHA Trade and Health Forum
October 30, 2012. The Association of Schools of Public Health Student Leadership Institute is held once per year during the annual APHA meeting. It provides promising public health student leaders the opportunity to learn crucial leadership skills and network with other professionals and is attended by students around the nation.
Mr. Mackey was chosen as one of two students to from the San Diego State University-Graduate School of Public Health to attend the ASPH Student Leadership Institute to engage in skill-building and leadership training..
In addition, during the Trade and Health Forum APHA business meeting, Mr. Mackey was nominated as the Chair to lead the forum in 2012-2013. Mr. Mackey previously served as co-secretary for the Forum in 2011-2012 and is active in the forum's activities and educational outreach.
IHLS Co-Chairs CWSL 24th Annual Halloween Auction Event
October 30, 2012. The Halloween Auction Event has been an annual event at CWSL for many years. This is IHLS fourth year to assist in its planning and execution. It is the only CWSL event throughout the year that includes: faculty, staff and all students. The focus is to raise money from our live and silent auctions and donate the funds to a charitable cause.
This years recipient of funding was, The Toussaint Academy San Diego, to assist homeless youth to reach self-sufficiency by providing a safe and stable living environment and continuum of education and supportive services. We are proud to say that we raised over $3,000 for this charitable cause.
IHLS Earns Miracle Maker Status from Rady Children’s Hospital
October 30, 2012. The Union Tribune posted names of the 2012 Rady Children’s Hospital Miracle Maker status recipients. Each year, IHLS provides an enormous amount of volunteer hours to benefit the sick children here in San Diego.
Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator sits on the Mesa Unit’s auxiliary board and coordinates events that CWSL students can participate in to make a difference in a child’s life. These events can be a walk, run, donation drive or simply volunteering to work in a health care booth throughout the year. In order to make the Miracle Maker status, the group must raise a minimum of $500 for the hospital and once again, IHLS well exceeded this goal by giving back to our community and was honored to be named a receipient of the Miracle Makers Status for 2012.
IHLS Executive Director Publishes Op Ed in Providence Journal on Illicit IUD Access
October 28, 2012. The increasing use of the Internet and social media for health information extends to youth and adolescents. Yet nimble illicit sellers of medical products have moved into this space, including illegal sellers of IUDs.
Professor Bryan A. Liang published an opinion editorial in the Providence Journal warning of these dangers, including IUDs available "over the counter", without a prescription, on all top social media platforms, supported by YouTube videos, including cartoon versions, on insertion. He warned that this is an important public health matter and parents and providers should particularly take note and educate their children regarding contraception.
The piece is "A social-media medical menace", by Bryan A. Liang in the October 28, 2012 issue of the Journal.
HLS Hosts Mock Health Care Debate on the Affordable Care Act
October 24, 2012. The Health Law Society student organization teamed up with Amnesty International, among several other campus organizations, to put together a health care debate on the Affordable Care Act.
Former Dean Smith mediated the debate and HLS students Isabel Masanque and Affy Malekimojareb served as the hosts. The motion debated read: Obamacare is oppressive to the American people and bad public policy. Congress should act immediately and repeal Obamacare.
Opposing the motion was Jan Spencley from San Diegans for Heatlhcare Coverage while HLS very own, Dr. Luis Bautista, argued in favor of the motion. Votes were taken before and then after the debate.
IHLS Participates in Kids’ News Day for the Benefit of Rady Children’s Hospital
October 23, 2012. With their yellow aprons on and newspapers in hand, IHLS and HLS student volunteers stood on the doorsteps of CWSL to raise funds for children’s health care at Rady Children’s Hospital. Starting the night before, IHLS helped assemble freshly printed stacks of newspapers for all Starbuck stores in San Diego, then starting
at 6:00am the next morning IHLS were out on the streets selling papers one by one until 100 papers were sold.
All proceeds from the event benefit the children’s programs
IHLS and HLS Hold Blood Drive for the San Diego Blood Bank
October 18. 2012. The Institute of Health Law Studies and the student Health Law Society of California Western School of Law held their second blood drive this year.
With the assistance of volunteers and Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator, our efforts were successful In registering 28 donors and collecting 26 pints of blood. IHLS continues to be a Partners 4 Life status with the San Diego Blood Bank due to the consistently held blood drives throughout the year.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Interviewed and Quoted in Chicago Tribune Story on Counterfeit Drugs
October 16, 2012. With the continued interest in counterfeit drugs found in the US drug supply, investigative reporters have set their sites on the problem. The Chicago Tribune interviewed Professor Bryan A. Liang, IHLS Executive Director and noted expert on drug supply safety, for his perspective.
Dr. Liang noted that there are tremendous challenges in stopping counterfeit and substandard drugs in the USA, particularly illicit online drug sales. There are significant risks of buying online, and sales of drugs such as the cancer treatment Avastin outside the traditional supply chain is highly dangerous.
The story is "Fake medicine poses growing threat to consumers Counterfeit drug industry flourishing online as regulators struggle to curb it," by Deborah Shelton, Investigative Reporter, Chicago Tribune.
Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Gives Presentation and Sits on Bioethics Panel at Rady Children's Hospital
October 12, 2012. As part of the Rady Children's Hospital's 2012 Bioethics Education Series, IHLS Senior Research Associate and PhD Candidate in the Joint Doctoral Program in Global Health at UCSD-SDSU, gave a presentation on Bioethical issues of eHealth and participated with a panel of experts discussing the bioethical considerations of drug shortages.
In his presentation Mr. Mackey discussed the growing use of the Internet by consumers and patients in searching for and using information to make healthcare choices. He highlighted how the changing use of online pharmaceutical marketing by both legitimate and criminal actors is changing the digital landscape and creating concerns of "eHealth ethics". This shift to digital forms of health information consumption and access is changing how we assess relationships between users online, and demands greater attention in bioethical discussions. Mr. Mackey also highlighted the risks of online sourcing of shortage drugs during his discussion on the panel.
Mr. Mackey's presentation was entitled, “Bioethical Issues of eHealth Ethics” and the Panel was titled "Roundtable Discussion Regarding Drug Shortages: Who Decides?" He was invited to speak by London Carrasca, Co-Chair of the Rady's Children Hospital Bioethics Committee.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Gives Law and Medicine Presentation at UCSD School of Medicine
October 10, 2012. The standards and practice of medicine are increasing dominated by law. Physicians, therefore, require broader training in health policy and law. UCSD School of Medicine has recognized this and asked Professor Bryan A. Liang, both a physician and an attorney, to provide information on this dynamic topic.
Dr. Liang reviewed key issues surrounding traditional law and medicine issues such as informed consent and medical malpractice, but extended his presentation also to key modern issues such as fraud and abuse, end-of-life considerations, healthcare reform, and payment incentives and disincentives.
The title of Dr. Liang's presentation was "The Rules of Engagement: Law, Medicine, and Medical Oversight." He was asked to present by Dr. Rusty Kallenberg, Chief, UCSD Division of Family Medicine.
IHLS Executive Director & Senior Research Associate Gives Presentation to University of California San Diego-University of Mannheim University Group
October 5, 2012. The economy is increasingly global, and healthcare issues are particularly affected. The UCSD-University of Mannheim Group in Healthcare Management asked Professor Bryan A. Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey to provide information on their research on global health and its interface with management issues.
Professor Liang presented his work on indigenous populations, ethnomedicine, and biopiracy. Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey, who is also a PhD student in the Joint Doctoral Program in Global Health between UCSD and San Diego State University. Professor Liang's work was titled "Nagoya's Not Enough: Biopiracy, Bioprospecting, and Indigenous Peoples"; Mr. Mackey's presentation was "The Impact of Intellectual Property on Global Public Health and Economics: Case Studies in Intellectual Property Rights."
IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait Earns CMOM Accreditation
October 5, 2012. As a CME provider and working with many local health care hospitals and providers, Pam Tait was invited to join the network of healthcare administrators seeking to obtain their certification as an medical officer. With the upcoming health care mandates and reforms, it is going to be a necessity to be a certified medical office
manager in order to provide patients the appropriate care and guidance necessary.
The San Diego County Medical Society hosted a month long course for these professionals in order to obtain a state certification as a CMOM (certified medical office manager). The exam was given at the end of the month long course with a passage criterion. Pam Tait passed and was totally surprised to learn how inadequate our patients are treated in the office environment due to lack of educated professional managers. These new health care education requirements are truly going to aid in patient safety and healthcare treatments.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Interviewed by CBC for Online Drug Investigation Story
October 4, 2012. The issue of counterfeit drugs and online sourcing has become a larger and larger policy issue, now reaching the Canadian pharmacy business. With recent fake drugs associated with online pharmacy operations, CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Company) interviewed noted expert Professor Bryan A. Liang on the issue.
Professor Liang noted that "Canada is becoming a "big target" for U.S. authorities. "Canada, because of the online presence, is becoming a big target for us in the United States, for the FDA and the office of criminal investigations. And rightly so," he told CBC News. "There's still a lot of business up there."
Professor Liang was interviewed by Karen Pauls, reporter for CBC News. The story is "Canadian online pharmacy ordered to stop marketing to U.S." aired on October 4, 2012.
Professor Jef Van Langendonck of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Joins IHLS as Member
October 3, 2012. The global health realm has firmly established that health issues are not confined to geopolitical borders, and that social security of the world’s citizens must be considered together. One of the globe’s experts on public welfare and social security, Professor Jef Van Lagendonck, Director Emeritus, Institute for Social Law, Katholieke Universiteit, has agreed to join IHLS as a Member.
“We are, of course, extremely honored and privileged to have Professor Van Langendonck join us at IHLS,” said IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang. “From Mongolia to Mozambique, from the World Bank to WHO, Prof. Dr. Van Langendonck has the recognition, reputation for excellence, and clear expertise worldwide to contribute to our efforts in global health. We are very fortunate to have him as a Member of IHLS.”
Professor Van Langendonck teaches at Katholieke Universiteit, one of the oldest universities in the world, established in 1425. It is a top 100 global university and a top 15 European university.
Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Gives Presentation at Stanford Medicine X Conference on Illicit Online Drug Seller Social Media Marketing
September 29, 2012. The convergence of technology and health are increasingly becoming important factors in improving health care quality, delivery, and health outcomes. Yet, certain vulnerabilities and risks are associated with emerging "e-health" technology. The Medicine X Conference is a new initiative that explores how emerging technologies will advance the practice of medicine, improve health, and empower patients to be active participants in their own care. Medicine X takes place at Stanford Medical School and is attended by hundreds of participants from diverse groups such as the medical community, the corporate sector, start up companies, patients, and other disciplines.
Mr. Mackey, IHLS Senior Research Associate and PhD Student in the JDP in Global Health UCSD-SDSU, presented research on social media marketing vulnerabilities utilized by illicit online drug sellers supported by the Partnership for Safe Medicines Carl L. Alsberg, MD Fellowship for Safe Medicines. Mr. Mackey presented preliminary results illustrating how easy it is to create fraudulent and misleading social media-based promotion of illicit online drug sales. Hence, this form of web2.0 marketing represents unique patient safety and public health risks which are currently unregulated.
Mr. Mackey's presentation was entitled, “Direct-to-Consumer Social Media Advertising Risk Assessment Study for Illicit Online Drug Sales” and was presented at the Medicine X conference at Stanford Medical School, Palo Alto, CA.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey and Executive Director Bryan Liang's Work on Social Media and Illicit Online Pharmacies Featured on ABC World News Tonight
September 28, 2012. With the Internet becoming a larger and ever more present segment of illicit sales of pharmaceuticals, a key question is how difficult it is to set up such illegal operations. Professor Bryan A. Liang and Research Associate Tim Mackey's work on criminal sales of drugs and tests using Facebook, Google+, MySpace, and Twitter was featured in an ABC World News Tonight investigative report.
Dr. Liang and Mr. Mackey showed how easily they set up their illicit sites. They demonstrated in 15 minutes how they could create a Facebook online site selling fake drugs, and how they could direct traffic from other social media sites. Further, they noted that illicit sites crowd out virtually all legal sites, with legitimate pharmacy presence on page 10 or greater of search engine results.
Dr. Liang and Mr. Mackey were interviewed by investigative reporter Jim Avila. The story is titled "FDA: Beware Buying Prescription Drugs Online", and is available here.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Presents Work on Social Media and Illicit Online Pharmacies
September 28, 2012. The increasing presence of counterfeit drugs has become a national policy priority. Professor Bryan A. Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey, noted experts on e-commerce and global health, were invited to present their work at the 2012 Interchange, the Annual Meeting of the Partnership for Safe Medicines.
Liang and Mackey noted the nimble nature of illicit online drug sellers, and how search engines and social media have become 'hidden' sites for access to pharmaceuticals without prescriptions or quality control. They also outlined that direct-to-consumer advertising, legal at present only in the USA, New Zealand, and South Korea in developed countries, in fact spread to high, low, and middle income countries as well as emerging markets. This has created the concern that one country's laws may be thwarted by online and mobile technology, particularly in the area of illicit sales of pharmaceuticals. They pointed out for the need of all stakeholders to come together and focus on their individual talents and resources through a global strategic plan against these sellers.
Tim Mackey is also the Partnership for Safe Medicines Fellow for Patient Safety, and Professor Liang serves on the Partnership's Board.
Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey is Named as a Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning Awardee
September 26, 2012. Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest, largest, and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Its chapters are on more than 300 campuses in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. Since its founding, Phi Kappa Phi has initiated more than 1 million members into its ranks.
Timothy Mackey, MAS, IHLS senior research associate, the Carl L. Alsberg, MD Fellow of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, 2012 Inamori Fellow, UCSD Interdisciplinary scholar, Rita L. Atkinson Fellowship for 2012-2013 and doctoral student in the UCSD-SDUS joint global health program, was selected for one of the Love of Learning Awards among more than 1,000 other applicants.
Mr. Mackey'sis grateful for the generous support of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and their commitment to student leadership and support. Mr. Mackey is featured on the Phi Kappa Phi website.
Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Participates on Panel at UCSD-Extension Showcase
September 18, 2012. UCSD Extension conducts a Continuing Education & Career Showcase workshop free to the public on a number of career and professional development opportunities. This includes conducting a panel on careers in healthcare and exploring Master's degree course work in clinical research, health law, and leadership of healthcare organizations.
Timothy Mackey, MAS, IHLS senior research associate and the first graduate of the joint Master's degree in Health Law at UC San Diego-California Western School of Law, was invited to participate as a panel member for the Healthcare Master's Degrees Workshop Panel with a number of other alumni of the various MAS programs. Mr. Mackey provided information to prospective students and professionals on the value and challenges of obtaining a MAS in Health Law. He discussed his own experience and the immense benefits the degree has brought to his career and academic development.
Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Gives Presentation at Medicine 2.0 12' on Social Media Risks
September 16, 2012. The concept of "eHealth" is increasingly becoming an integral component in public health and patient safety discussions. The Medicine 2.0: 5th World Congress on Social Media, Mobile Apps, Internet/Web 2.0 taking place at Harvard Medical School is attended by over 500 participants and 3,000 members of the social network to discuss, collaborate, and support research for emerging technologies in medicine.
Mr. Mackey, IHLS Senior Research Associate and PhD Student in the JDP in Global Health UCSD-SDSU, presented research on the risks of social media use by illicit online pharmacies which was supported by his Partnership for Safe Medicines Carl L. Alsberg, MD Fellowship for Safe Medicines. Mr. Mackey discussed preliminary results indicating that access to social media-based promotion is accessible, low-cost, and largely unregulated. This presents potential patient safety risks when attempting to curb fraudulent and misleading advertising utilized by illict online pharmacies.
Mr. Mackey's presentation was entitled, “Risk Assessment of Direct-to-Consumer Social Media Advertising for Illicit Online Drug Sales” and was presented at the Medicine 2.0 12' conference in Boston, Massachusetts.
Staff Development Committee Hosts CWSL Family Padre Day
September 15, 2012. As an appointed member of the staff development committee, Program Administrator Pam Tait assisted with the registration and daily activities for a day at Petco Park with the Padres. This event is an annual tradition for the CWSL to give back to its staff and employees.
The SDC at CWSL plans a fun day event that includes all families to come out and enjoy a leisurely day together. This year, the event included a day at the ball park with a delicious dinner and snacks included. Despite the Padres losing, everyone had a wonderful time eating and playing games together.
IHLS Executive Director Gives Public Health Powers Presentation
September 12, 2012. The increasing focus on natural and potential terrorist activities has placed this issue in the forefront of public policy. Professor Bryan A. Liang, IHLS Executive Director, was asked to provide information on public health powers both under normal conditions and in emergencies and disasters to California Western School of Law.
"Public health powers are generally reserved to the states under their police powers," said Professor Liang. "They are quite extensive, with 'public health the highest law'." However, in emergency and disaster circumstances, they are virtually limitless if reasonably related to the goal of protecting the public health. Forced treatment, summary detainment, direction of professionals to participate in emergency response, and secondment of any space, building, or materials is permitted during these situations."
Dr. Liang was asked by Professor Ken Klein to give this presentation.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Gives Patient Safety and Healthcare Reform Lecture to UCSD School of Medicine
September 12, 2012. As healthcare reform has passed one legal hurdle—the US Supreme Court—observers are now asking what is next for the medical delivery system, and patient safety. UCSD School of Medicine asked Professor Bryan Liang to give a presentation on these important, cutting edge matters.
Dr. Liang, who is also Professor of Anesthesiology at UCSD School of Medicine, and Director of its San Diego Center for Patient Safety, noted that there are well-tested tools, the “six pack plus 1” that has been used in aviation to reduce preventable errors and mitigate the impact of those that occur. He also noted that we must begin our patient safety efforts substantively, since under healthcare reform, reimbursement for medical care services will be penalized for poor safety and satisfaction scores.
Dr. Liang was asked to present by Dr. Rusty Kallenberg, Chief, UCSD Division of Family Medicine.
LA Times Quotes IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett on murder trial of Dr. Lisa Tseng
September 12, 2012. Dr. Lisa Tseng is being charged with murder in LA County in connection with the opiate overdose deaths of 3 patients. Though Tseng was not present at the time her patients collected or administered their prescription medications, it is being charged that she recklessly prescribed medications with the knowledge that her patients would be harmed. It is rare that a physician is charged with murder under similar circumstances and this case therefore has widespread implications for both the medical and legal communities.
Dr. Lovett is quoted, “The legal community is now sending a strong message to physicians: If you prescribe opiates to some ill-defined degree that we consider criminal, we're going to put you away for it and we're going to call you a murderer … When physicians adapt to that message, patients will suffer …. You're now putting patients in a position of proving their innocence." Dr. Lovett further states that the medical community does not condone negligent or reckless opiate prescribing but that the intricacies of pain management oftentimes make it difficult to know when patients are gaming the system in an effort to abuse controlled substances.
The article is titled: Prosecution of Doctor in Overdose Cases Worries Physicians, written by Hailey Branson and available online here.
IHLS and Partners Launch the Bulletin of Health Policy & Law
September 6, 2012. IHLS, with its partners the San Diego Center for Patient Safety, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and the Joint Master's Program in Health Law, California Western School of Law—University of California San Diego, have launched the new interdisciplinary, peer review journal, the Bulletin of Health Policy & Law. The Editor of the journal is IHLS Executive Director, Professor Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD, who is also Professor of Anesthesiology and Director, San Diego Center for Patient Safety at UCSD; the Deputy Editor is Tim Mackey, MAS, Senior Research Associate, IHLS, and Clinical Instructor in Anesthesiology, UCSD School of Medicine. Mr. Mackey is also a student in the Joint Doctoral Program in Global Health, UCSD-San Diego State University School of Public Health.
"We envision the journal as a forum for discussing health policy and law issues from a broader, more interdisciplinary perspective, since social problems do not give us the luxury of confining themselves to a single academic discipline. We welcome innovative and provocative papers and collaborations, such as with global law enforcement and public health authorities," said Dr. Liang on the announcement. "Further, we have adopted an open access model, where articles are available online immediately, and without copyright restrictions thus allowing information to be accessible to low and middle income country researchers and policymakers. We believe this approach does promote more rapid dissemination of knowledge and hopefully social progress as a result."
The Bulletin is also populated by student papers as well as edited by students of CWSL. CWSL Health Law Society students, who come from the JD and MAS programs, currently contribute to and edit the Recent Developments section of the Bulletin. In addition, students can submit manuscripts for consideration for publication; in fact, Katherine Pettus, a CWSL-UCSD MAS student, has an Original Research work published in Issue 1.
The Bulletin of Health Policy & Law will be a quarterly publication. Issue 1 is the Fall 2012 issue, and is available at http://www.bullhpl.org.
Rady Children’s Hospital Cancer Center Partners with IHLS in Dale Donnelly Memorial Golf Tournament
August 23, 2012. Once again for the fourth year, IHLS volunteered to assist the 9th Annual Dale Donnelly Memorial Golf Tournament. It was a very warm day for the volunteers and players. Despite the heat and recent economic slump, over 100 golfers showed up to play for the day and donate their fees toward better health care for kids in San Diego.
As the golfers showed up, IHLS managed the check in registration process, providing teams with goodie bags and plenty of water to beat the heat. The twosomes were organized and assigned their carts and designated to the tees for a day of fun drives, plenty of putts and full day of treats and meals. The past eight tournaments have raised over $100,000 for the worthy cause to help restore, sustain and enhance better health care for children in San Diego.
Executive Director Bryan Liang Welcomes the 6th Class of the Masters Degree in Health Law
August 13, 2012. As the Health Law MAS classes have grown throughout the years with more diverse professionals, the dual degree program has become a strong academic program in San Diego.
The CWSL-UCSD Masters Degree in Health Law is a unique program of study that focuses on practical, timely topics and challenges in health law including delivery of care, product and system regulation, management of research and development and public policy. It is the only program of its kind in the western U.S and is coordinated by the Institute of Health Law Studies, California Western School of Law, and UCSD School of Medicine. For more information see: http://hlaw.ucsd.edu.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Joins SDSU Graduate School of Public Health Advisory Board
August 6, 2012. The San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health is one of the leading research institutions in public health policy in the USA. For four consecutive years, SDSU has been ranked the No. 1 most productive research university among schools with 14 or fewer Ph.D. programs based on the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index, and has been designated a "research university" with high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. To enhance its programmatic activities, the Director of the Graduate School of Public Health has appointed IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang to its Advisory Board.
“Of course, this is a great honor to be selected as a member of the SDSU Graduate School of Public Health Advisory Board,” said Professor Liang on the announcement. “The Graduate School has tremendous impact through its research as well as its advocacy and educational activities in global health. I hope to find opportunities for IHLS to work with the SDSU GSPH in the many areas in which we overlap.”
Professor Liang was invited to join the Advisory Board by Professor Carleen Stoskoff, SDSU GSPH Director.
Timothy Allen, MD, JD of University of Texas Health Sciences Center Joins IHLS as Member
July 20, 2012. Timothy Allen, MD, JD, has agreed to join the Institute of Health Law Studies as a Member. Dr. Allen is uniquely qualified to engage with IHLS on interdisciplinary work, focused upon health law, policy, and ethics. He received his MD from Baylor University; and his JD from the University of Chicago, and is active in many aspects of medical-legal studies, having published extensively in both literatures. He currently serves as Chairman of the Department of Pathology at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center.
“We are of course delighted that Professor Allen, a noted medical-legal scholar, to join us in our efforts,” said Professor Bryan A. Liang, Executive Director, on the announcement. “His contributions, research interests, and scholarship can help us promote important goals in influencing the relationship between law and medicine. We very much welcome and are privileged to have Dr. Allen on our IHLS team.”
Dr. Allen has coordinated several medical-legal issues for prominent journals such as Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and most recently, Pathology Case Reviews.
IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait Appointed to California Western’s Staff Development Committee
July 18, 2012. CWSL hosted a Star Award reception in the Roy Bell room to congratulate the staff that received star awards for 2011-2012 fiscal year. During the ceremony, Dean Steven Smith announced the newly appointed members to the CWSL Staff Development Committee. This committee is nominated by staff peers and recommended by the Dean of the law school.
Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator, was appointed by Dean Smith to the Staff Development Committee. The mission and goals of this Committee are to promote community building on campus. The term is for 2 years. Ms. Tait will begin her tenure in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
IHLS Provides Support to the San Diego Network of CME Professionals Quarterly Meeting
July 10, 2012. With the increasing requirements and changes in providing continuing medical education (CME) in ways that are appropriate, useful and culturally competent due to state mandates and health reform, CME professionals face many challenges. To keep up with these challenges and address them, the San Diego Network of CME Professionals met in its quarterly meeting to exchange information and practices to ensure their accreditations are kept within the parameters. Pam Tait is the IHLS CME Coordinator for IHLS, and has led IHLS through two accreditation reviews. She hence provided guidance to other programs on new requirements and methods to address them during accreditation review.
Currently the San Diego Network of CME Professionals contains ~30 active members from all San Diego based hospitals and the healthcare industry. IHLS is very unique to this group since it is the only law school in the nation that has obtained CME accreditation. They have held this status since 2005.
Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Gives Presentation at 13th Round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Negotiation Stakeholder Meeting
July 2, 2012. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is a regional free trade agreement involving the United States and eight other countries in the Pacific Rim. It is a broad based agreement dubbed as the "21st century" version of multilateral free trade agreements. In response to pressure from a number of key stakeholders and civil society groups due to lack of transparency in the negotiation process, the US Trade Representative opened up the 13th round of negotiations to stakeholders for presentation of their concerns. Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey gave a presentation in support of tobacco control measures in the TPPA.
Mr. Mackey outlined the global health threat of tobacco use which kills an estimated 6 million people per year globally. He also highlighted trade-related challenges by the tobacco industry which have impeded international efforts to meet tobacco control obligations under the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobaco Control Treaty. In order to ensure that state-based tobacco control measures are protected, the TPPA should specifically carve out Tobacco from trade-related protection and preferences.
Mr. Mackey's presentation was entitled, “Tobacco Control and Trade: International Legal Arguments in Support of a Tobacco Exemption in the TPP”. His presentation was attended by key TPPA stakeholders and state trade representatives.
IHLS Hosts 8th Annual Erizen Sei Bowles Feed A Friend Food Drive
July 1, 2012. From July 1 through the 31st, IHLS is sponsoring the 8th Annual Erizen Sei Bowles Feed A Friend Food Drive. This is an annual event for IHLS in which it provides community assistance to the San Diego homeless community. Every summer the food pantries are very low for the homeless community, so this is an opportunity for IHLS to address a key community need.
This event was named in honor of a former CWSL health law student and Health Law Society President Erizen Sei Bowles, who lost his life in an accident a few years ago. With the coordination by Pam Tait, Program Administrator of IHLS, the collections have been successful in contributing needed food for the homeless for almost a decade.
Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey is Awarded the Rita L. Atkinson Fellowship 2012-2013
June 30, 2012. Rita and Richard Atkinson have designated more than $5 million in charitable donations in their visionary support of undergraduate and graduate fellowships to the University of California, San Diego. This includes the formation of the Rita L. Atkinson Graduate Fellowship to recognize academic excellence and provide support for interdisciplinary research in sciences and related fields that cross traditional boundaries.
Timothy Mackey, MAS, IHLS senior research associate, the Carl L. Alsberg, MD Fellow of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, 2012 Inamori Fellow, UCSD Interdisciplinary scholar and doctoral student in the UCSD global health program, was selected as 1 of only 2 graduate students for the Rita L. Atkinson Fellowship for 2012-2013 which provides a graduate stipend and tuition support for an academic year. .
Mr. Mackey'sis grateful for the generous support of the Atkinsons and notes that the graduate stipend will allow him to continue important interdisciplinary research in the fields of counterfeit medicines, health migration, global health governance, issues of trade and health, tobacco control, access to medicines, and global health marketing.
IHLS Joins the Ronald McDonald House Charities Fund Raising Efforts
June 28, 2012. The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. With clown wigs, and red funny noses on, IHLS participated in the 3rd Annual Red Shoe Day. Joining forces with more than 1,000 other community volunteers, IHLS collected donations for three hours in front of California Western School of Law. The purpose of this collection drive was to raise awareness and funds for San Diego's Ronald McDonald Charties House. The funds support assistance to San Diego families that need a place to stay while their child is being treated for a medical crisis.
To carry on the spirit throughout the day, CWSL asked its faculty, staff and students to wear their red shoes or red apparel. The overall support from the law school was one that even a shoe fashionista would have been proud of. Within the three hours of collection, IHLS took in enough funds to support not just one family but several families in need.
Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Gives Bioethics Presentation at Rady Children's Hosptial
June 12, 2012. The rise of the digital health marketplace is giving rise to a number of emerging and evolving bioethical issues. IHLS Senior Research Associate, Tim Mackey, discussed these emerging bioethical issues in health technology and marketing at the Rady Children’s Hospital Bioethics Seminar Series.
Mr. Mackey outlined the growing use of healthcare marketing away from providers towards consumers/patients using direct-to-consumer advertising. He highlighted how the evolving use of DTCA by various actors, including the pharmaceutical industry, media and marketing companies, the public, and even illicit actors and criminals, is changing the way healthcare information is communicated and consumed. This change requires a shift in bioethic research and focus towards examining relationships outside of the traditional physician-patient relationship and more adequate regulation to deal with emerging technology platforms.
Mr. Mackey's presentation was entitled, “eHealth Ethics: The Online Medical Marketplace and Emerging Ethical Issues.” He was invited to speak by London Carrasca, Co-Chair of the Rady's Children Hospital Bioethics Committee.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Makes Presentation at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Society of Veterinary Hospital Pharmacists
June 4, 2012. The globalization of trade in counterfeit medicines is a problem for everyone, including animals and pets. The SVHP Annual Meeting brings together academics, veterinarian professionals, and the industry to discuss the different clinical and policy challenges faced in animal sciences and invited Mr. Mackey to present on the important topic of counterfeit medicines.
Timothy Mackey, MAS, IHLS senior research associate and doctoral student in the UCSD global health program, presented on the topic of globalization of counterfeit medicines through the Internet, the risk of counterfeit pet medications, and also presented research conducted by IHLS. Mr. Mackey’s presentation highlighted the risks posed to animals, their owners, and veternarians of sourcing medicine online without a prescription from suspect online prescription pet drug sellers.
Mr. Mackey’s presentation was entitled, "Globalization of the Illicit Online Drug Supply Chain: Potential Risks to Patients and Pets" and was presented at the SVHP Annual Meeting in San Diego,CA.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Presents Research at 2012 Pharmaceutical Management Science Association
May 22, 2012. The Pharmaceutical Management Science Association is a non-profit organization devoted to meeting society's pharmaceutical needs through management science strategies and research. The PMSA Annual Meeting attracts the attention and attendance of those in healthcare organizations, the pharmaceutical industry, health informatics, and other industries and professions.
Timothy Mackey, MAS, IHLS senior research associate and doctoral student in the UCSD global health program, presented on the topic of direct-to-consumer advertising of pharmaceuticals and presented research conducted by IHLS. Mr. Mackey’s presentation described the linkages between DTCA and illicit online drug sellers and advocated for the need of additional reforem in order to protect patient safety and public health. He also highlighted the adverse business consequences for the private sector of this unregulated illicit marketing and stressed the need for private sector engagement and cooperation.
Mr. Mackey’s presentation was entitled, "Digital Direct-to-Consumer Advertising: Current Debate and Prevalence of Use Among Industry and Illicit Online Pharmacies" and was presented at the PMSA Annual Meeting in Anaheim,CA.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Gives Presentation at 2012 Annual Meeting of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
May 21, 2012. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy is an impartial professional organization that supports the states board of pharmacy in protecting public health and patient safey and has membership of all 50 states. It also actively participates in promoting safety of the pharmacy and drug supply chain through its VIPPS, Vet-VIPPS, VAWD, and DMEPOS accreditation programs. Every year the NABP hosts an annual meeting to give its member the opportunity to expand their knowledge base, stay up-to-date on new developments in pharmacy, and network with other professionals.
Timothy Mackey, MAS, IHLS senior research associate and doctoral student in the UCSD global health program, presented on the topic of the public health crisis of the global counterfeit medicine trade and the growing use of the digital drug supply chain as a means of illicit distribution. Mr. Mackey’s presentation focused on the need to engage multiple stakeholders through public-private partnerships and advocated for development of a centralized multi-sector surveillance system to accomplish this task.
Mr. Mackey’s presentation was part of session entitled, "Globalization of the Digital Drug Supply Chain: Using Public Private Partnerships to Combat the Scourge of Illicit Online Drug Sellers" and was presented at the NABP Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA with other expertsincluding representatives from the US Food and Drug Administration.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Presents and Moderates University of Southern California Panel on Professionalism in Medicine
May 19, 2012. With the increasing pressures on health care providers in the changing health care climate, there are concerns that the need for professionalism is being lost in medicine. The University of Southern California convened a conference on addressing professionalism and the impact of delivery systems and their leadership on current and future physicians.
Professor Liang was asked to present on “Is Doing Good and Doing Well Consistent with Professionalism in Medicine?”, in which he advocated the need for understanding the changing and dynamic nature of health delivery incentives as well as health delivery systems. He then moderated a panel of senior healthcare executives from USC Health, Children’s Hospital-Los Angeles, and Kaiser Permanente, more deeply assessing what and whether high level professionalism is defined, rewarded, and reevaluated in the context of financial and social changes in healthcare.
The event was “Professionalism and Systems of Care: Challenges and Opportunities,” held at the USC Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA.
Prof. Bryan A. Liang Awarded UCSD Graduate Student Community Faculty Mentorship Award
May 9, 2012. Academic education and the professional development of society's future academics is one of the key institutional pillars of IHLS and of virtually all academic organizations. Reflecting this commitment and dedication, IHLS Executive Director, Prof. Bryan A. Liang was selected for the UCSD Graduate Student Community Faculty Mentorship Award for 2012. Each year, the UCSD Graduate Student Association selects one or two outstanding and influential faculty members in a competitive nomination process and recognizes their significant contributions to graduate advising and mentorship.
Timothy Mackey, MAS, IHLS senior research associate and PhD student in the UCSD-SDSU joint doctoral program global health program introduced Prof. Liang and commented on the enormous impact he has had on his own life and the progress of other students. Mr. Mackey commented "Prof. Liang is the epitome of what an academic mentor should be and sets a high bar and serves as an example for furture faculty on how commitment to graduate mentorship can really unlock the vast potential of the next generation of scholars." Mr. Mackey further highlighted the immense support and time commitment Prof. Liang has provided him and countless other graduate students and how this has led to his own personal and academic success.
Prof. Liang was presented with a plaque to commemorate his efforts to promote graduate education at the Loft at UCSD along with other distinguished awardees.
U.S. News & World Report Interviews IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett Regarding the Direct-to-Consumer Availability of Thermography for Breast Cancer Screening.
May 4, 2012. The need for preventive screening for key diseases such as breast cancer has led to a wide array of claims online about certain screening tests. This includes marketing the use of thermography for breast cancer detection. Yet some of these claims are suspect.
US World New Report asked Dr. Lovett to comment on its use what they mean for women and breast cancer detection. Dr. Lovett noted: "I would tell women that thermography continues to be studied, and the technology will hopefully improve over time…. However, at this time, thermography should absolutely not be used as an alternative to screening mammogram or as an alternative to breast biopsy in the presence of a positive mammogram."
The article is entitled Mammograms Beat Thermography for Breast Cancer Detection Study, by Kathleen Doheny, is published online in the May 4, 2012 issue of US News & World Report.
UCSD-CWSL Health Law MAS Program, UCSD Leadership in Healthcare Organizations MAS Program, and UCSD Extension Host Speaker Event with PBS/NPR Correspondent T.R. Reid
April 30, 2012. In an event shared by three key educational programs that focus on the study of law, policy and leadership in health, the UCSD-CWSL Health Law MAS program, the UCSD Leadership in Healthcare Organizations MAS program, and UCSD Extension hosted the “A Conversation with T.R. Reid” speaker event.
The event was held at AMN Healthcare auditorium and was attended by a number of healthcare professionals including physicians, nurses, medical and healthcare students. The keynote address was by T. R. Reid, correspondent and reporter for NPR and PBS, as well as the author of The Healing of America and other influential health documentaries. The focus of healthcare reform and system planning faces many challenges here in the United States, and is also an issue debated rigourously globally. Mr. Reid discussed his own reporting, research and advocacy followed by a robust discussion by participants.
Insure.com Interviews IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett Regarding the Dangers of the Direct-to-Consumer Medical Marketplace
April 30, 2012. The increasing presence of suspect online vendors of medical services has expanded to medical screenings. These are particularly problematic because of their direct-to-consumer marketing. Insure.com asked Dr. Lovett to comment on these trends, industry, and services.
Dr. Lovett noted that, “But for the few pluses, there is plenty of downside to direct-to-consumer screening tests. For starters, the industry doesn't participate in informed consent discussions -- those conversations where your doctor explains the risks, benefits and alternatives to a particular treatment plan, especially if it is invasive -- provide follow-up care for patients or make judgments about the appropriateness of the screening tests for patients.”
The article is entitled DIY Healthcare: The Trouble With Direct-to-Consumer Health Screenings, by Sheryl Nance-Nash, and is published online in the April 30, 2012 issue.
IHLS Volunteers Assist in 10th Annual San Diego Creek to Bay Cleanup
April 28, 2012. The Institute of Health Law Studies joined forces with San Diego Canyonlands and" I Love A Clean San Diego" for the 10th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup. There are 40+ coastal and inland cleanup sites but IHLS chose the Tierrasanta-Sheppard’s Canyon zone for its support of this important community service activity. Debris in our coastal and inland areas is an important public health concern in San Diego. Through IHLS participation in these areas impacted by population, we are helping to ensure the safety of San Diego’s citizens and visitors in important coastal areas crucial to the economy.
For the entire morning, IHLS volunteers worked diligently to pick up trash and clean trails and paths that have been destroyed by litter and erosion creating in some cases very unsanitary conditions. IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait commented, “this is a great opportunity to give back to our community and aid in the beautification of our city where we all love to live and play!”
Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Presents at the 13th Annual World Congress on Public Health in Ethiopia
April 27, 2012. The 13th Annual World Congress on Public Health was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and brought officials, dignitaires, heads of various partners organizations and public health professionals from over 168 countries under the theme of "Towards Global Health Equity: Opportunities and Threats". The conference was supported by the World Federation of Public Health Associations and several other public health partners including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, USAID, US CDC and others. The conference included 40 papers for special sessions, 134 for oral presentation, 550 for poster presentations, and 16 panel discussions.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey gave two presentations to this diverse public health groupd during 2 oral sessions on capacity building and disasters. Mr. Mackey highlighted the global health risks faced by infectious diseases in the era of globalization and the need to balance often conflicting interests of economic travel and trade restrictions with public health measures. He also called for the establishment of better governance structures to address limitations of past and current responses.
Mr. Mackey also presented on the need to rebalance international healthcare worker migration that can lead to the brain drain of healthcare workers from resource-poor to developed country settings. He highlighted the challenges faced by unbalanced incentive structures and lack of governence and regulation posed by inequitable migration. He also highlighted the need for creative policy solutions to address this issue.
Mr. Mackey's presentations were entitled, “Lessons from SARS, H1N1/A and the Revised International Health Regulations” and "Global Governance Policy for Brain Drain: Promoting Health Equity and Justice Through Reallocation of Resources".
Professor Bryan A. Liang Appointed to the Data and Safety Monitoring Board of the University of Illinois Chicago’s Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics
April 23, 2012. The University of Illinois-Chicago Campus has received funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to engage in four core projects, including statistical methods for pharmcovigilance, opioid dosing simulator, and predicting and detecting drug name confusion and EHR-based intervention for patients with low health literacy. This internationally renowed researchers have chosen Professor Bryan Liang to serve on the Data and Safety Monitoring Board for the UIC’s AHRQ-funded Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics.
As a member of the data safety monitoring board, Dr. Liang will be asked to review protocols and operations manuals for each study to insure participant safety is protected and adequately monitored. He will receive a report at least every six months documenting enrollment and drop-out rates, outcomes, adverse events, and any other requested safety information. You will review this information to insure the ongoing integrity and safety of enrolled participants.
IHLS Provides Support for San Diego Network of CME Professionals Quarterly Meeting
April 17, 2012. Pam Tait, IHLS CME Coordinator attended the San Diego Nework of CME Professionals Quarterly Meeting held at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla which enjoyed broad attendance by its members. The meeting agenda included discussions on upcoming changes and the usage of internet communications for future activities.
Ms. Tait, shared with the group information regarding IHLS' recent 8th Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference and provided sample materials that were disseminated to conference attendees. With recent increases in cost and financial challenges, many CME providers are no longer hosting conferences instead choosing to provide other forms of training within their facilities. These challenges limit CME opportunities and events for the public and health professionals. Internet based CME was explored as a solution but technical obstacles regarding accreditation standards remain unresolved. The meeting provided a venue for San Diego Network of CME Professionals to discuss these issues and explore potential solutions.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Presents Research at UCSD Pat Ledden Memorial Faculty Luncheon Series
April 11, 2012. The UCSD Pat Ledden Memorial Faculty Luncheon Series provide an opportunity for members of the UCSD faculty to meet accross disciplines and departmental boundaries in a convivial environment and share ideas and interests on scholary activities as well as hear discussions on topics of current interest. The luncheon series was created under the late Muir Provost Patrick Ledden and is now continued in his memory.
Timothy Mackey, MAS, IHLS senior research associate and doctoral student in the UCSD global health program, presented on the topic of the evolution and vulnerabilities of the global digital drug supply chain to a multi-discplinary audience. Mr. Mackey’s presentation focused on the risks associated with diversion and counterfeit medicines marketed by illicit online drug sellers and the difficulties faced in attempting to regulation and police this space. He also emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships, inherent risks for patients and consumers, and the need to leverage existing tools and partnerships against this growing public health problem.
Mr. Mackey’s presentation was entitled, "Globalization of the Digital Drug Supply Chain: Using Public Private Partnerships to Combat the Scourge of Illicit Online Drug Sellers" and was presented at the UCSD Faculty Club.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Awarded UCSD 2012 Interdisciplinary Award
April 4, 2012. Interdisciplinary research and advocacy is crucial to the academic mission of UCSD and a central tenet of efforts of IHLS. Each year, UCSD selects four outstanding graduate students from a multi-discplinary group of study areas and invites them to present their interdisciplinary research.
Timothy Mackey, MAS, IHLS senior research associate, the Carl L. Alsberg, MD Fellow of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, 2012 Inamori Fellow, and doctoral student in the UCSD global health program, was selected as 1 of only 4 graduate students to showcase their research and represent UCSD during the 2012 Interdisciplinary Awards reception. Mr. Mackey’s research was presented to UCSD administrators, faculty, staff, other students, and the public. Mr. Mackey was presented with a monetary award and a plaque to commemorate his accomplishments. Mr. Mackey presented on the evolution of direct-to-consumer advertising highlighting its global reach over the Internet as well as preliminary research data on social media network analysis.
Mr. Mackey’s presentation was entitled, "Risk Assessment of Direct-to-Consumer Advertisingfor Illicit Online Drug Sales - An Interdisciplinary Assessment".
IHLS Collaborates with the Harvard Club of San Diego for the San Diego Food Bank
April 4, 2012. IHLS volunteered their time at the San Diego Food Bank during Harvard’s Global Month of Service. With sleeves rolled up and plenty of energy, IHLS staff worked to provide donated nonperishable food items into boxes for delivery to seniors in need of assistance. Every month the San Diego Food Bank sends 10,000 boxes of food out to the local senior community to save thousands of elders from going hungry each month. Through a combination of government programs and partnerships with over 350 San Diego County nonprofit charities, the Food Bank acts as a general repository and distribution point for donated food. The goal of this program is to work to alleviate hunger throughout San Diego county and its efforts are supported by IHLS.
IHLS Participates in the Mabel Jessop Women's Symposium
March 29, 2012. The need to increase awareness among underserved women and families regarding the importantance of educational for setting financial and personal goals has grown exponentailly given the recent global financial crisis. Today’s symposium provided great speakers and resources to this challenging problem and how to address them. IHLS was invited to assist with the distribution of program evaluations in order to assess the outcome of educational programs and other information disseminated. The event provided a full day of workshops focused on a variety of financial and economic problems confronting women and families everywhere.
IHLS Participates in Annual Health and Wellness Fair for CWSL Faculty and Staff
March 27,2012. The promotion of health and wellness information in both the school and workplace is essential to healthy behavior and the physical and mental well-being of all members of society. In order to support efforts aimed at preserving a strong and healthy community, IHLS assisted the CWSL human resources team in educating fair attendees about the need to engage in healthy behavior and undergo important health screenings which were made available during this event. The health and wellness fair offered blood pressure and BMI screenings as well as massages and other valuable health information to a variety of engaged participants. In addition, several major healthcare vendors and providers, such as Aetna, Prudential, United Concordia, VSP, the YMCA and others, offered important health related resources. IHLS provided support in event registration, raffle signups and serving attendees with healthy snacks and drinks as part of an inspiring day of putting the health needs of people first. Through its participation in this event, IHLS continues to recognize the need to engage and educate people about the benefits and resources available for healthy lifestyles.
IHLS Sponsors Student Team in the California Innocence Project Dodge Ball Tournament
March 19, 2012. IHLS sponsored and entered a team of 8 participants to play in the annual California Western School of Law CIP Dodgeball Tournament. The IHLS team’s name was The EMT’s. This is the fourth year that IHLS has sponsored a team and with hard work and sweat, they achieved 4th place out of 32 total teams. The tournament is a fundraiser for CIP, which assists wrongfully convicted citizens to establish their innocence in the justice system.
IHLS, Cal Western and UCSD Staff Welcome 6th Incoming Class of Health Law Masters Program
March 21, 2012. IHLS assisted in welcoming the sixth incoming class to the joint Masters in Health Law Program at UCSD and CWSL (MAS). The group met in the CWSL boardroom and were presented with a power point on the structure of the program and student representatives provided further details and personal experiences from the perspectives of active and graduated students. The MAS program has been ongoing since IHLS was founded in 2004 with the first class enrollment in 2007. The program is still being co-chaired by Prof. Bryan Liang, the Executive Director of IHLS and has successfully graduated 18 students and has over 50 current students in progress.
CWSL Health Law Society and Business Law Society Conduct Business of Health Law Spring Conference
March 3, 2012. With the collaboration of The Health Law Society and Business Law Society, students gathered at CWSL for the Business of Health Law Spring Conference. The conference provided a forum for a nexus of medical and legal professionals who are interested in the emerging issues of healthcare law. Speakers representing both professions presented their ideas, experiences and perspectives on bio/medical technological advancements, stem cell research/procedures, and how local, state, and federal laws and regulations impact these practice areas. Free CLE credits were given to attorneys who attended the conferences. Speakers included Kevin Cahill, Business Counsel, The Scripps Research Institute; Duane Roth, CEO of Connect; Harris Brotman, Brotman Patent- IP Law and Strategy; and Suzanne Peterson, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
Health Law Society Hosts Healthcare Law Speaking Event
February 14, 2012. The expanding need for attorneys in healthcare is becoming a key focus at CWSL and is on the forefront of its educational efforts. In promoting this need, the HLS hosted a Healthcare Law Speaking event with CWSL faculty and staff.
With the assistance of Professors Jody Root and Terry Schmidt, CWSL offers courses that expand student's knowledge base and expertise in areas including healthcare organization structure and management. The two professors provided insight to current students on how to network while in school and research potential health law related job opportunities prior to graduation. The event was well attended and presentations provided students with decades of combined experience and knowledge in the healthcare industy. Students gained first hand knowledge on how to keep pursue career goals the current challenging job market. IHLS also provided a light lunch in support of this event.
IHLS Holds 8th Annual Warm-a-Heart Drive for the Homeless
February 1, 2012. IHLS partnered with the Alpha Project, a philanthropic non-profit organization that services the San Diego homeless community, to collect clothing and blanket donations to benefit those who are in need of assistance during these difficult economic times. Unfortunately, the number of homeless individuals in San Diego County appears to have risen over the last few years due to financial pressures and the recent global financial crisis.
IHLS continues to strive towards its community outreach goals by providing needed resources of clean clothing and warm blankets for this vulnerable group. IHLS has also been a recipient of the Alpha Project Services Appreciation Award for its continuing efforts in supporting the homeless in San Diego.
IHLS Hosts 8th Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference “Emerging Markets and Global Health”
March 23, 2012. The Institute of Health Law Studies, in collaboration with the UCSD San Diego Center for Patient Safety, and the Partnership for Safe Medicines, hosted the 8th Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference at the Hilton Harbor Island Hotel in San Diego, CA. The topic of this year’s conference was “Emerging Markets and Global Health.”
The event featured presentations from renowned experts worldwide. These included James Class, PhD, Director of Global Public Policy, Merck; Bejon Misra, Founder and Head, Partnership for Safe Medicines-India and a leading consumer advocate in that country for three decades; Matthew Brown, MPS, Office of Global Health, Department of Health and Human Services and Senior Official, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Associate Dean and Professor William Riley, PhD, University of Minnesota School of Public Health; Tim Mackey, MAS, Senior Research Associate, Institute of Health Law Studies, California Western School of Law and Joint Doctoral Program, Global Health, UCSD-SDSU; and Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD, Executive Director, Institute of Health Law Studies, California Western School of Law, and Director, San Diego Center for Patient Safety, UCSD School of Medicine.
Participants in the event came from around the globe and across professions to attend the event. Representatives from the EU, law enforcement, medicine, public health, law, public policy, and global development attended the conference and sparked spirited discussion regarding the key issues facing emerging markets and their interface with global health.
The proceedings from the San Diego Health Policy Conference will be published for broad dissemination as in past years. The event has garnered significant attention and the resulting works have influenced policy in a wide array of settings. Conference details are available here.
Minnesota Post Features IHLS Member Dr Kimberly Lovett and Professor Bryan Liang’s Article on Suspect Screening Tests
March 21, 2012. With healthcare costs increasing, a focus on screening for disease has been an important public health measure. Yet, some testing is contrary to U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations because of the lack of evidence for their use and potential harms associated from this unnecessary testing.
The Minnesota Post featured research by IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett and Executive Director Professor Bryan Liang, which pointed to suspect screening vendors advertising online and direct-to-consumers. It noted that Lovett and Liang’s work showed the dangers of such testing and the need for professional guidance to use and interpret any testing.
The story is “Buyer beware on 'direct-to-consumer' health screenings,” by Susan Perry in the March 21, 2012 issue of the Minnesota Post.
Professor Bryan Liang Quoted in Chronicle of Higher Education on Student Health Plans
March 20, 2012. Healthcare reform has focused broadly on those within the traditional health insurance markets. However, one group that has not been addressed is college students in school-sponsored plans. Recent final regulations of treatment of school plans have been issued. The Chronicle of Higher Education interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on his assessment.
Professor Liang indicated that the final regulations are a good step towards bringing protections to students, which have been generally ignored in reform. However, he noted that self-insured plans are still not covered, and may represent a significant concern in the near future as schools attempt to secure other cash flows.
The story is “New Policy Places Greater Consumer Protections on Student Health Plans,” by Libby Sander in the March 20, 2012 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Wall Street Journal Article on Counterfeit Avastin Quotes Professor Bryan A. Liang
March 7, 2012. The continuing investigation into counterfeit Avastin has now expanded to global actors and online pharmacy sellers. The Wall Street Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the revelations as to how this fake cancer drug entered into the USA.
Dr. Liang noted that jurisdictional issues and the ease by which online sellers can open and close have severely hampered law enforcement efforts. Indeed, he noted that culpable individuals are often unidentifiable, resulting in limited criminal penalties against these vendors. He called for global cooperation to address this public health concern.
The story is “Drug Distributor Is Tied to Imports of Fake Avastin,” by Christopher Weaver, Jeanne Whalen, and Benoit Faucon, in the March 7, 2012 issue of the Wall Street Journal.
Nature Quotes Professor Bryan A. Liang on Counterfeit Drugs Issue
March 2, 2012. The counterfeit drug Avastin case has been an important wake up call for drug regulatory authorities around the world. However, the policy challenges in addressing this public and global health concern need identification. Nature, one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary science journals, interviewed Professor Bryan Liang about the policy challenges.
Professor Liang noted that one key roadblock is defining counterfeit drugs. Because of the intellectual property issues, self-interested countries, and law enforcement needs, this definitional barrier must be addressed before substantive focus can be made and global strategies developed to counter the rapidly expanding global counterfeits issue.
The article is “International groups move to criminalize fake drugs,” by Katherine Rowland in the March 2, 2012 issue of Nature.
LA Times Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Physician Prosecution for Opioid Patient Deaths
March 1, 2012. The explosion of opioid use and abuse has become a national concern. Recent investigations into physician overprescribing of these drugs have resulted in criminal charges lodged against physicians. The Los Angeles Times interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on this growing public health issue.
Dr. Liang noted that prosecutions such as against celebrity physicians such as Conrad Murray, who was Michael Jackson’s physician, are rare, since generally medical behavior is addressed in the civil system. However, with the increasing incidence of prescription drug deaths from opioids, Dr. Liang predicted it is likely these criminal prosecutions of physicians will become more frequent.
The story is “Doctor charged in fatal prescription overdoses,” by Lisa Girion, Scott Glover and Hailey Branson-Potts, in the March 1, 2012 issue of the Los Angeles Times.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Named “Featured Member” in San Diego Physician Magazine
February 24, 2012. Professor Bryan A. Liang, Executive Director, Institute of Health Law Studies, as well as Director, San Diego Center for Patient Safety, UCSD School of Medicine, was the “Featured Member” of the San Diego Physician Magazine for the month of February 2012. The Medical Society noted his recent appointments to the American College of Chest Physicians Mass Casualty Task Force and Council of Foreign Relations Global Drug Safety Roundtable.
“I am of course honored by this recognition by the San Diego County Medical Society,” said Dr. Liang. “Most of the credit should go to the wonderful students and staff that I work with, Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator, as well as Tim Mackey, IHLS Senior Research Associate. Without this support and energy, it’s doubtful I would ever be able to accomplish even the most rudimentary of our projects.”
Dr. Liang’s recognition appears on page 4 of the San Diego Physician magazine.
Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Presents IHLS Research at 2012 Global Risk Forum One Health Summit
February 23, 2012. The 2012 Global Risk Forum One Health Summit was held in Davos, Switzerland and brought together some 270 delegates of multidisciplinary backgrounds from over 60 countries together to discuss important topics on applying the "One Health" paradigm to Global Health, environment, and agricultural problems. This international conference of leading experts from academia, international organizations, the private sector, and NGOs was conducted with the cooperation of 38 collaborating institutions between 19-23 February.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey gave two presentations to this multidisciplinary group during 2 parallel sessions on "Early Warning, Monitoring, and Surveillance" and "Work Ethics and Safety". Mr. Mackey highlighted the global health risks faced by counterfeit medicines and the challenges faced by human health professionals, environmental scientists, and life science researchers in addressing this issue. He also stressed the need for multidisciplinary and multi-sectorial collaboration using public-private partnership models.
Mr. Mackey also presented on the need to rebalance international healthcare worker migration in efforts to stem the brain drain from resource-poor to developed country settings. He highlighted the challenges faced by public health, natural sciences, environmental research, and disease control and surveillance posed by inequitable migration and the need to address these failures with global health policy solutions.
Mr. Mackey's presentations were entitled, “Advocating for Public Private Partnerships in Surveillance, Enforcement and Prevention of Illicit Online Drug Sales and Exploring Impacts on One Health” and "Stemming the Brain Drain: Exploring Global Health Policy Solutions for Imbalances in International Health Migration".
Shortage Drug Article by IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Featured in National Association of Boards of Pharmacy e-News
February 23, 2012. The shortage of key drugs, including emergency treatments, Orphan Disease drugs, anesthesia drugs, and oncology drugs, has commanded significant attention. The growing shortage may drive desperate patients to the Internet in an effort to procure these life-saving treatments.
However, using the Internet to procure drugs is a major patient safety risk. NABP featured Professor Liang and and Tim Mackey’s research article that determined that virtually all of these shortage drugs are being marketed online by suspect sellers that already have been identified as Not Recommended by NABP. As well, drugs were advertised as “no prescription” as well as “over the counter” despite requiring prescriptions. Indeed, for more than 1/3 of shortage drugs, only NABP Not Recommended sites were selling these drugs.
The study is entitled, “Online Availability and Safety of Drugs in Shortage: A Descriptive Study of Internet Vendor Characteristics,” in the JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH”. The NABP story appears in the February 2012 e-News issue.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Appointed to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine Counterfeit, Falsified, and Substandard Drugs Committee
February 21, 2012. The key challenges with the global supply of drugs has been highlighted by recent falsified cancer drugs, detected counterfeit version, FDA shortages, and substandard forms around the world. The National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine in response has formulated the, Committee on Understanding the Global Public Health Implications of Counterfeit, Falsified, and Substandard Drugs. The Committee is comprised of 12 national and international experts on the topic. Professor Bryan A. Liang, IHLS Executive Director and Shapiro Distinguished Professor, as well as Professor of Anesthesiology and Director of the San Diego Center of Patient Safety, UCSD School of Medicine, has been appointed to this elite committee.
The Committee will engage in a study commissioned by the USA Food and Drug Administration on global supply safety and domestic as well as global policy proposals to address this increasingly difficult issue.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public. Established in 1970, the IOM is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, which was chartered under President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.
NPR Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang on Counterfeit Avastin
February 20, 2012. The counterfeit versions of the cancer drug Avastin have raised issues as to the security of the USA drug supply chain. NPR interviewed Professor Bryan A. Liang, a noted expert on the global drug supply, for his perspective on the crisis.
He noted that e-pedigree laws in states such as California would not have stopped counterfeit drugs to reach patients. Since these drugs were directly sold to clinics by unauthorized wholesalers, they were supplied outside the traditional supply chain. Further, he explained that e-pedigree proposals would also not reach illicit sales over the Internet. He recommended policy changes that require pedigree for all drugs, and online sellers should be subject to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site accreditation program.
Dr. Liang was interviewed on NPR and the California Report by Sarah Varney, NPR Healthcare Reporter.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Gives Bioethics Presentation on Mass Casualty Preparedness
February 14, 2012. The ethical challenges of addressing disasters and emergencies arise from a needed medical paradigm shift from an individual patient orientation to a population-based focus. This creates ethical issues and raises concerns as to how care will be perceived after the event. Professor Bryan A. Liang discussed these concerns at the Rady Children’s Hospital Bioethics Seminar Series.
“We are faced with resource reductions, environmental challenges, and literally the mandate of walking past severely ill patients without treating them during human-sourced and natural emergencies and disasters,” said Professor Liang. “However, the ethical choices we make must be grounded in an agreement of what priorities should be. There are no right answers—yet some solutions are mutually exclusive to others. We need to decide and engage the community ahead of time to choose how resources will be allocated and then revisit these issues consistently to reflect changing norms, knowledge, and research.”
Dr. Liang’s presentation was entitled, “Planning and Perceptions: Disaster Preparedness and Medical Ethics.” He was invited to speak by London Carrasca, Co-Chair of the Rady's Children Hospital Bioethics Committee.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Speaks at UC Global Health Day 2012
February 4, 2012. UC Global Health Day brings together a number of UC students, staff, faculty, researchers and other individuals in the Global Health community to present and share on a broad range of Global Health topics. The event attracts some 450 participants and includes representation from all the UC systems.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey was invited to speak on a special panel session on Global Public Health Law along with other UC faculty. Mr. Mackey presented on the challenges of combating dangerous counterfeit medicines in the digital global distribution supply chain and offered it as a case study for better global health governance. Mr. Mackey highlighted the current fragmented governance of counterfeit regulation and stressed the need for a realignment of efforts by international organizations as well as the need for engagement with public-private partnership models.
Mr. Mackey's presentation was entitled, “Challenges in Global Health Governance: Combating Dangerous Medicines in the Digital Global Drug Supply Chain.”
Professor Bryan Liang Presents Globalization and Drug Safety Lecture to UCSD Osher Institute
January 30, 2012. The key links between globalization and drug manufacturing and treatment has become evident as drug shortages continue to increase around the world. However, risks of globalization also create vulnerabilities. The Osher Institute of University of California, San Diego featured Professor Bryan Liang in their Law & Society series to discuss this critical concern.
“As globalization makes geopolitical borders a decreasing barrier to trade, its underside has also created challenges in securing safety of the drug supply,” said Professor Liang. “Importantly, this means many hands are involved in transporting and ensuring legitimacy of the products being traded. Unfortunately, it is this vulnerability in parallel trade that creates challenges to drug safety.”
Professor Liang was asked by Dr. Mark Evans to present to the Osher Institute. Professor Liang’s presentation was entitled, “Global Health and Drug Supply: Interaction and Risks.”
IHLS Sponsors San Diego Blood Mobile and Achieves Best Drive Collection in Seven Years
January 26, 2012. IHLS joined forces with the student Health Law Society to host the first Blood Drive of 2012 by the IHLS/HLS team, coordinating with the San Diego Blood Bank Blood Mobile. It was the best drive collection in seven years. Throughout this period, IHLS has held drives supported by the faculty, staff and employees of CWSL. The goal is to strive to make a difference in our local community and to save lives. This drive exceeded all the past drives by filling almost every time slot and available position available throughout the day.
“Once again, the IHLS/HLS team with Pam Tait and the HLS students leading the way have exceeded their own service by holding our most successful blood drive ever,” said Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang. “Thanks to their efforts, many in our community will benefit from this lifesaving resource.”
IHLS has held the Life Level 4 status for several years, the highest level of achievement for blood donations. In previous years, IHLS has been featured by the San Diego Blood Bank as an example of community partnerships in blood donation.
IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait Elected Secretary Rady Children’s Mesa Auxiliary Unit
January 26, 2012. The Rady Children’s Mesa Auxiliary Unit, a charitable coalition of community members dedicated to promoting pediatric care, has elected IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait as Secretary for the Unit.
“This is yet another community service we have a privilege to participate in,” said Professor Bryan A. Liang, Executive Director of IHLS and also a member of the Unit. “Pam has always taken a firm lead in service, and she is an outstanding example of how we can engage with our community in service.”
Unit meetings are set up for the last Thursday of every month and are held in the Rady Auxiliary offices in Kearny Mesa.
IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett Presents on Chronic Opiate Prescribing
January 25, 2012. Prescription opiate medications are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among patients in the United States today. There were approximately 200 prescription opiate related deaths in San Diego County alone in 2011. Further, oxycodone abuse and addiction continue to plague our adult and adolescent populations. But on the flip side, the benefits of effectively treating chronic pain include improved quality of life for patients, improved chronic disease status for patients, and increased worker productivity.
Dr. Lovett presented to Kaiser Permanente primary care physicians on opiate prescribing practices, how to reduce the risks of opiate prescriptions, and how to increase the safety. She notes that following the tenets of diligent risk/benefit analysis, being consistent, setting firm boundaries, and understanding the evidence will help physicians more effectively help their patients.
Dr. Lovett’s lecture was entitled, “Care of the Chronic Non-Cancer Pain Patient in Primary Care.”
IHLS Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Named Inamori Fellow
January 24, 2012. Tim Mackey, MAS, IHLS Senior Research Associate and doctoral student in the Joint Doctoral Degree Program in Global Health, UCSD-SDSU, has been named an Inamori Fellow. Only 10 Inamori Fellows are named each year.
“Of course, we are delighted that Tim’s work and excellence continues to be recognized throughout the academic community,” said Professor Bryan A. Liang, IHLS Executive Director. “We are privileged to be able to collaborate and work with Tim in all of his various research projects, as well as his community service and other activities that promotes our mission.”
As noted by the Inamori Selection Committee, “Being named an Inamori Fellow is a significant achievement, one that recognizes your extraordinary professional accomplishments.” Selection is based on work completed, academic background, scholarly accomplishments including awards, publications, and presentations, training environment, and faculty mentorship.
Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Gives Presentation to UCSD Graduate Students on Academic Writing
January 17, 2012. The process of academic writing and publishing can be extremely challenging to graduate students, faculty and other researchers. Yet there are several important strategies, tools and tips that can increase the potential for successful aritcle submissions.
Tim Mackey outlined these different challenges and opportunities in academic writing. He outlined key components of academic publishing that need to be considered when drafting a manuscript including article content type, targeting journals for submission, picking and excluding reviewers, tracking your submission metrics, and the use of various tools to make publishing easier. These strategies were discussed in the context of experience and data collected on IHLS manuscript submissions by Mr. Mackey and Professor Bryan A. Liang.
The presentation was entitled, “Academic Publishing: Strategies and Tips for Academic Writing and Journal Submission.”
Professor Bryan Liang Gives University of San Diego Faculty Colloquia Presentation on FDA Shortage Drugs
January 13, 2012. The growing patient safety and healthcare challenges with the FDA drug shortage has pushed healthcare providers and patients to other sources. This includes the Internet. Yet the Internet is rife with highly suspect drug sellers.
Professor Bryan Liang gave a presentation on FDA shortage drugs and their availability on the Internet through suspect sellers at the University of San Diego School of Law Faculty Colloquium. He reported an empirical analysis of FDA shortage drugs and their almost complete availability online without a prescription. Further, he found that most vendors who sell more than one of these shortage drugs have already been found to be suspect by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Finally, he noted that beyond search engine marketing by these suspect sellers, he also reported that social media has become a key form of advertising.
The presentation was entitled, “Drug Safety and Globalization: Empirical Assessment of FDA Shortage Drugs.” Dr. Liang was invited to give this presentation by Professor Miranda McGowan, of the University of San Diego School of Law.
Professor Bryan Liang Nominated to Mass Critical Care Task Force Panel of American College of Chest Physicians
January 12, 2012. IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang has been nominated to serve on the American College of Chest Physicians Mass Critical Care Task Force Panel. The American College of Chest Physicians is the main physician professional organization focused upon intensive care needs of patients.
“I am of course delighted and honored to be nominated to the Task Force,” said Professor Liang, who is both an attorney and a physician. “The ACCP Task Force has been instrumental in creating leading practice guidelines for emergency and disaster circumstances, and I look forward to participating in updating and crafting new recommendations.”
The ACCP Task Force will create a multi-disciplinary, formal consensus document covering a far broader range of cutting-edge disaster preparedness in the ICU based on recent events globally and locally. The goal will be that this publication will not only continue to form the basis of disaster planning for ICUs, but also will be used to help formulate further disaster research and public policy.
Dr. Liang was invited by the ACCP Mass Critical Care Consensus Statement Planning Committee to serve. He was chosen in part “based on your experience and expertise in policy and legal issues” in emergency preparedness and response planning and ethics.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Give UCSD Presentations on Global Health
January 10, 2012. The critical issues surrounding public health and globalization have increasingly become evident across policy and geopolitical lines. Executive Director Bryan Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Gave presentations to the University of California San Diego-San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Programs on the impact of these concerns.
Mr. Mackey discussed public health and intellectual property concepts on a global scale. He provided an overview and analysis of current and emerging issues, and called for public-private partnerships to address the infrastructural weaknesses. Professor Liang discussed safety of the drug supply chain, and how both USA and global regimes allow for suspect products to enter and harm patients. He called for domestic rules as well as a potential UN treaty for international law enforcement coordination.
Mr. Mackey’s presentation was entitled, “Public Health and Intellectual Property: Global Health Concerns,” and Professor Liang’s was entitled “Globalization and Drug Safety Risks.”
Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey and Executive Director Bryan A. Liang’s Drug Supply Safety Paper Selected as a 2012 “Editor’s Pick” Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Article
January 6, 2012. An article on global health and drug supply safety published by IHLS Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey and Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang was selected as an Editor’s Pick of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Ronald T. Borchardt, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, noted that the article was chosen because the editors “felt it contained ‘particularly original and significant’ scientific findings.”
“We are delighted and honored that the Editors of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences has recognized our work as having significant importance,” said IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang. “We are of course gratified that we have had the opportunity to engage in this work and will continue our effort to promote safety of pharmaceuticals for patients globally.”
The paper is entitled “The Global Counterfeit Drug Trade: Patient Safety and Public Health Risks”, which appeared in volume 100, Issue 11, pages 4571-4579, 2011, in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Selected to Accompany UCSD Deans to Sacramento for Annual UC Graduate Research Advocacy Day
December 20, 2011. Research is critical to the State of California’s mission to provide education for today’s students as an investment for tomorrow’s society. Hence, each year, the University of California system visits Sacramento and the Capitol to showcase top graduate student work. At the same time, one day is devoted to UC representative visits with legislators, staffers, and others to provide additional details on leading research efforts being done by some of the world’s most outstanding students.
Timothy Mackey, MAS, IHLS senior research associate, the Carl L. Alsberg, MD Fellow of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, and doctoral student in the UCSD global health program, was selected as 1 of only 2 graduate students to showcase their research and represent UC in the 2012 UC Graduate Research Advocacy Day. Mr. Mackey’s work will be featured at the state Capitol for a week, and he will accompany the systemwide UC graduate deans on March 14, 2012 in their visits to legislative representatives and other government staffers. He will be asked to summarize his work during these meetings.
Mr. Mackey’s work was chosen because his "research represents the best in your program, has obvious resonance with members of the legislature (our audience), and would touch on concerns of interest to California, and in particular economic development and job creation." His project is entitled, "Safety of the Drug Supply Chain: A Policy Analysis."
IHLS “Lights Up” Rady Children’s Hospital Asthma and Allergy Clinic for the Holiday Season
December 9, 2011. Rady Children’s Hospital, with its global reputation for excellence, has many children from around the world as patients. However, because of some of their clinical conditions, children often must stay in the hospital for extended periods. With the holidays upon us, and with the goal of providing a festive environment for the children at Rady Children’s Hospital, IHLS, led by Program Administrator Pam Tait, hung dozen of lights, ornaments and festive décor throughout the Rady Children’s Hospital Asthma and Allergy Clinic. As part of this effort, IHLS recognized the clinical needs of keeping dust and contaminants at a minimum. To this end, IHLS members washed and cleansed every festive hook, bulb and snowman prior to entering the clinic and hanging it up.
Within hours of decorating, the clinic was transformed from its white sterile unit to a bright and happy environment. IHLS and volunteers brought laughter and smiles to the sick children that were in attendance and waiting for medical treatments.
As IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait aptly noted, “Nothing more rewarding than to see a smile come out on an sick child. The world of volunteerism is one of the best gifts one can provide and IHLS mission allows its students a way to give back to their community.”
Professor Bryan A. Liang Gives Presentation to UCSD Medical Students on the Global Drug Supply Chain and Future Physician Role in Patient Safety
December 7, 2011. The global supply chain for pharmaceuticals represents the globalization of not only the trade in therapies but also the expansion of the diversity of patients that will be seen by physicians in the future. The implications of drug supply globalization and patient safety is a key issue for the medical community. Professor Bryan A. Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies, as well as UCSD Professor of Anesthesiology and Director of the San Diego Center for Patient Safety, gave a presentation to the UCSD School of Medicine students on this critical concern.
“The drug supply chain is highly porous around the world,” said Dr. Liang. “This provides opportunities for nefarious actors to infiltrate the legitimate drug supply chain. This puts patients at risk and is a large, unrecognized patient safety concern.”
Dr. Liang provided information on events from around the world and how these fake and tainted drugs have harmed patients directly. He also provided additional information on the risks of the Internet, the US gray market, and European parallel trade system illustrating their compromised nature. Dr. Liang called on future physicians to be vigilant in understanding and considering these vulnerabilities when faced with treating patients and unexplained therapeutic failure.
The presentation was entitled, “Patient Safety and Drug Supply Globalization: The Role of the Future Physician.”
IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett Gives UCSD Medical Student Presentation on Healthcare Reform
December 7, 2011. The three defining variables of the healthcare system include healthcare access, quality of services, and cost of care. A significant improvement in any two of these variables usually requires a compromise on the third. For example, where there exists a very high quality healthcare system with widespread societal access to services, the costs are usually very high. The United States healthcare system is typified by its relatively low access to care as compared to other OECD countries, relatively low overall population health (one measure of quality), and much higher costs relative to other OECD countries.
Dr. Lovett presented to this group of future medical leaders on the cost aspect of this Access-Quality-Cost triangle. She highlighted several proposed strategies of improving costs of US healthcare and the impacts of these strategies on both Access and Quality of care.
Dr. Lovett’s lecture was entitled, “Money, Money, Money: Cost Containment in US Healthcare.”
IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan Liang Gives Inaugural Address at Council on Foreign Relations Global Drug Safety Roundtable Series
December 5, 2011. The safety of the drug supply has become recognized as a foreign policy and global health crisis. The Council on Foreign Relations, one of the most prestigious think tanks in foreign policy, has instituted an initiative to focus on this public health concern, the Global Drug Safety Roundtable series. It asked Professor Bryan A. Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies, to give the inaugural address for the event.
“With globalization, geopolitical borders have faded in all aspects of society and life,” said Professor Liang. “Although this has great advantages, it also creates vulnerabilities that can be exploited by those who would profit off the sick in our society. This includes infiltrating the legitimate drug supply with purported pharmaceuticals that do not treat, do not heal, and cause harm.” Dr. Liang also presented work on Internet illicit online drug sellers marketing FDA shortage drugs, which are highly unlikely to be legitimate.
His presentation was entitled, “The Global Drug Supply: Online Safety Challenges and FDA Shortage Drugs.” Dr. Liang has also been appointed a Core Member of the Roundtable. He was invited to CFR by Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
Research of Professor Bryan Liang and Tim Mackey Featured in FiercePharma Manufacturing Story
December 5, 2011. The safety of the drug supply has become a leading policy issue, particularly in the light of drug shortages that include vaccines. FiercePharma Manufacturing featured an article by Professor Bryan Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey on suspect sources online selling these biologics.
The article noted that the Dr. Liang and Mr. Mackey’s work found that shortage vaccines as well as vaccine’s on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines were being offered for sale by Not Recommended National Association of Boards of Pharmacy online sellers. Some were also being offered without a prescription despite being prescription products. Dr. Liang and Mr. Mackey called for tighter regulation and governance for websites selling vaccines.
The FiercePharma Manufacturing piece was entitled, “Online vaccines available from suspect sources,” by George Miller in the December 5, 2011 issue of FiercePharma Manufacturing. The article that was being featured was “Vaccine Shortages and Suspect Online Pharmacy Sellers,” in the journal Vaccine. It is an Advance Online Publication of the journal.
Executive Director Bryan Liang Comments on Preventive Care Issues in US News & World Report Article
December 5, 2011. The provisions of the healthcare reform laws continue to come into operation, particularly insurance mandates. However, some reform has been implemented. This includes preventive care coverage. Yet many Americans have not taken advantage of this critical health focus. US News & World Report interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on these issues.
Dr. Liang noted that “Many people wait until there’s blood on the carpet” before accessing care. Yet in fact, “preventive care is the most cost-effective and efficient way to promote health as well as reduce costs.” He added that now with a broad coverage of preventive care services, focusing on use and their low costs should be a priority in the health delivery system.
The article is “Free Preventive Health Services Pushing Disease Prevention to the Forefront,” by Michael Morella in the December 5, 2011 US News & World Report, Health Plans.
Palm Beach Post Quotes Professor Bryan Liang in Counterfeit Drug Story
December 3, 2011. The Internet has emerged as a key patient safety threat for counterfeit and substandard drugs, with drugs being sold without a prescription and no professional oversight. The issue has grown to almost epidemic proportions, particularly in controlled substances and morphine derivatives. The Palm Beach Post interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the topic.
Professor Liang noted that “the expansion of illicit online sales have reached almost epidemic proportions, and use of social media as well as search engines have fueled its growth.” He called for additional oversight and coordinated efforts to stem the illicit supply chain.
The story is “As pill mills are shut down in Florida, customers turn to Web,” by Pat Beall in the December 3, 2011 issue of the Palm Beach Post.
IHLS and Mesa Auxiliary of Rady Children’s Hospital Participates in Holiday Luncheon
December 1, 2011. The Mesa Auxilliary of Rady Children’s Hospital, which IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait and Executive Director Bryan A. Liang are members, participated in the Rady Children’s Hospital Holiday luncheon at The Shores Restaurant in La Jolla. In addition to celebrating the year’s accomplishments, the Mesa Auxiliary members also collaborated to generate ideas and goals for the upcoming 2012 year.
The current economy has increased the need to develop higher volunteer goals and more programs for the hospital. IHLS has committed itself to assist in these needs and to play a more active role in order to strengthen proceeds towards the health needs of children at Rady Children’s Hospital.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Gives Presentation at UCSD Research Seminar Series
November 30, 2011. The issues with the global supply chain and the presence of substandard and counterfeit drugs has created tremendous needs for research to inform policy in this field. Professor Bryan A. Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies as well as a Professor of Anesthesiology, UCSD School of Medicine, was invited to present his research on the topic at the UCSD Biomedical and Clinical Research Seminar Series.
“Translating the impact of the global supply chain to clinical care and risks requires a robust research agenda and policy approach,” said Dr. Liang. “The safety of the drug supply worldwide requires attention to issues of crime, economics, and trade,” he added. He also presented information on the FDA current drug shortage and how this situation influences the safety of drugs currently being sold online.
Dr. Liang’s presentation was entitled, “From Patients to Producers: Safety and Policy Implications of Drug Supply Globalization.” He was invited by Dr. Mitchell Diccianni, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, UCSD Medical Center.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Gives Webinar on Counterfeit Drugs and Community Clinic Patients
November 29, 2011. Vulnerable patient populations and the current dismal economic climate have resulted in tremendous burdens on community clinics. Importantly, some patients have considered turning to alternative sources such as the Internet and night markets to procure their drugs. Professor Bryan A. Liang gave a webinar on the risks of counterfeit drugs and its impact upon these patients.
“It is clear that pharmaceuticals are one of the most powerful arsenals for medicine in patient care,” said Dr. Liang. “However, the benefits of drugs only inure if they are legitimate. And sadly, in many cases for vulnerable patients, they are not.”
Dr. Liang reviewed the context of high risk drugs, poor quality from suspect sources such as online or night markets, as well as the limited protections against counterfeits. He provided concrete tools for patients and providers to use to guard against the counterfeit drug safety threat, and urged them to stay vigilant.
Professor Liang was hosted by HealthHIV and the Partnership for Safe Medicines for his presentation. The presentation was entitled, “Protecting Clinic Patients From Counterfeit Drugs."
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Guest Lectures on Public Health and Intellectual Property
November 22, 2011. Timothy Mackey, IHLS Senior Research Associate, current second year UCSD-SDSU global health doctoral student, and graduate of the Joint Masters Degree in Health Law at UCSD and California Western School of Law, recently gave a guest lecture to graduate students at the School of Public Health at San Diego State University.
Mr. Mackey's lectured on the intersection between public health and forms of intellectual property rights including discussion of international IPR regimes such as the TRIPS agreement and Doha Declaration. He also highlighted current issues involving IPR and public health including counterfeit medicines, tobacco marketing and labeling, IPR management tools, access to medicines, drug discovery and innovation, and international trade agreements implicating public health. Students also particpated in a workshop on IPRs and tobacco marketing and presented their policy interventions.
Mr. Mackey guest lectured for a core graduate course in Global Health upon invitation from faculty of the SDSU School of Public Health. His presentations were entitled "Intellectual Property and Public Health: Introduction to Key Concepts and Review of TRIPS and IPR Management Solutions" and "Intellectual Property and Public Health: Introduction to IPR-Public Health Case Studies and Exercises."
Professor Bryan A. Liang Appointed as Core Member, Global Drug Safety Roundtable, Council on Foreign Relations
November 19, 2011. The safety of the drug supply is a global issue that implicates foreign affairs in a multitude of ways. The Council on Foreign Relations, often denoted the most influential think tank in foreign policy, has created the Global Drug Safety Roundtable to target this issue. It has asked IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang to join this entity as a Core Member. Dr. Liang is a widely recognized expert on patient safety and the drug supply.
“I am, of course, honored and delighted to accept the Council on Foreign Relations invitation to be a Core Member of the GDS Roundtable,” said Professor Liang. “The Council is and has been over their august history a leader in global policy, and it is no surprise it has seen the importance in focusing upon this public health emergency.”
The Roundtable and Council will target assessment and recommendations for the G8 meeting of governments next spring. Professor Liang is slated to be the first speaker at the inaugural event in December.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Designated Reviewers for World Congress on Public Health
November 18, 2011. The World Congress on Public Health is an international meeting bringing together global policymakers, public health professionals, nonprofit and foundation entities, and academics for important discussions and presentations of research. IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey have been designated reviewers for research proposals for the conference.
“We are of course delighted to participate in assessing global work of our colleagues in public health and policy,” said Professor Liang. “It has been a privilege to participate in these events, and we are fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to interact with key members of the global health community through their work, and then in person at the event.”
The World Congress on Public Health will be held next April in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Gives Multiple Presentations at the 2011 Global Health Conference
November 15, 2011. The 2011 Global Health Conference brings together thousands of professionals around the world to address challenges in global health. The event is held by the Global Health Education Consortium and Consortium of Universities for Global Health and took place in Montreal, Canada this year. During the 2011Global Health annual meeting, Mr. Mackey conducted two oral presentations and one poster presentation on a wide variety of global and public health related topics.
Mr. Mackey presented on the prevalence of digital forms of direct-to-consumer advertising by the pharmaceutical industry information and illicit online pharmacies. He discussed the potential patient safety and public health issues associated with this illegal activity which has been globalized via the Internet.
Mr. Mackey also presented on the important topic of pandemic and public health emergency response during the 2002 SARS outbreak and the recent 2009 H1N1/A Swine Flu outbreak. Mr. Mackey highlighted the need for an appropriate forum to adjudicate trade and economic actions taken in response to public health emergencies and the potential future threat if reform is not realized.
Mr. Mackey also conducted a poster presentation on the current shift in global health governance and funding of multilateral organizations such as the World Health Organization. Mr. Mackey discussed the impact of U.S. withholding of U.N. assessments under the Helms-Biden Act and the adverse impact of these arrears for WHO operations and promotion of U.S. multilaterlism. He also presented analysis on data depicting these shifts global health spending and priority setting.
Mr. Mackey's presentations were entitled, “Prevalence and Global Health Implications of Social Media in Direct-to-Consumer-Advertising” and "Learning Lessons from Disease Outbreaks and the Revised International Health Regulations" conducted in the Economics of Health Globally section. His poster presentation was entitled "Strengthening the United Nations System: Amending the Helms-Biden Agreement".
HLS Hosts Healthcare Speaker Event with Kristen Montez, JD of Sartori World Medical
November 9, 2011. The expanding need for attorneys in healthcare is expanding. However, the process for securing employment in the area is challenging. HLS hosted a healthcare speaker event with Kristen Montez, JD, to learn about how to network and search for jobs in such tight economic times.
Ms. Kristen Montez works with Satori World Medical, Inc., a global provider of healthcare services. Ms. Montez provided a lengthy presentation on her decade of experience in the human resources, legal and health care industries. With her guidance and overview of strategic approaches, students learned first hand how to keep motivated in such a challenging job market today in the healthcare arena.
“Ms. Montez provides us and the students with important insights on the domestic as well as global opportunities for health law,” said IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan Liang. “First hand experiences from those outside the traditional setting, and a focus on expanding research and activities outside basic JD education is imperative to remain competitive in this difficult legal employment environment.”
IHLS Assists in Business Law Society/Health Law Society Spring Conference Meeting
November 8, 2011. Each year the Business Law Society of California Western School of Law hosts an annual conference covering a topic that is on the forefront of the community. This year, under the leadership of Professor Andrea Johnson, the group has chosen Healthcare as its topic and invited IHLS and its student organization, HLS to participate.
With the assistance of IHLS and HLS, the conference will focus on the health care topics of biotechnology and medical technology developments and how healthcare reform will affect the industry. Stem cell intellectual property and moral rights will also be the focus as it pertains to the scientific development, manufacturing and research of stem cells.
Ms. Samantha Catilena, VP of HLS, Pam Tait the Program Coordinator for IHLS will also in the overall organization of the conference. The targeted audience is local attorneys, physicians, nurses, professors, students and healthcare providers in the industry. CWSL students will have the opportunity to write white papers for the conference in which Professor Johnson will edit and publish after the conference. The conference format will include panel discussions from health educators and medical professionals from the San Diego community. All CWSL students will be invited to participate with the opportunity to have their paper chosen for presentation at the conference. The conference date is March 3, 2012.
IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang Attends AHRQ Healthcare Research on Safety and Quality Study Section Meeting in Washington, DC
November 2, 2011. Under healthcare reform, the federal government has provided grants and opportunities to improve quality and safety in health care. As part of this initiative, the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has been empowered to fund innovative projects in the area.
Professor Bryan A. Liang was chosen as one of the elite group that review these proposals for the federal government, the AHRQ Healthcare Research on Safety and Quality Study Section. He attended the meeting in Washington, DC for this round of grant proposals.
Professor Liang was nominated and was chosen for this group because of his extensive expertise in a wide spectrum of patient safety activities, his status as an authority in the field, and his “outstanding professional achievements.” He will serve as a permanent member on the Study Section for four years.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Gives Multiple Presentations at the 2011 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting
November 2, 2011. The 139th American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Exposition is the olderst and largest gathering of public health professionals in the world and is attended by more than 13,000 participants. The event is attended by a global audience including healthcare professionals, educators, public health specialists, policy makers and other researchers. During the 2011 APHA annual meeting, Mr. Mackey conducted three oral presentations on a wide variety of global and public health related topics.
Mr. Mackey presented on the topic of electronic forms of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing and provided information regarding recent published research conducted at IHLS. This included discussion regarding the overwhelming prevalence of eDTCA use among the top 10 global pharmaceutical firms as well as the top 10 global grossing drugs. In addition, Mr. Mackey detailed the problem of eDTCA use by illicit actors, such as online pharmacies, and the immediate public health and patient safety problems associated with this activity.
Mr. Mackey also presented on the topic of the impact of travel and trade on public health. This included a discussion regardiing the 2002 SARS outbreak, the revised International Health Regulations of 2005, and the recent 2009 H1N1/A Swine Flu outbreak. Mr. Mackey presented policy analysis and recommendations from recently published research to address the need for balance between public health interventions and impacts on trade and economic considerations.
Mr. Mackey's presentations were entitled, “eDTCA 2.0: Global Regulation and Public Health Issues Associated with Interactive Internet Media” conducted in the Impact of Social Media on Public Health section, and "Lessons from SARS and H1N1/A: Employing a WHO-WTO Forum to Ensure Balance in Economic and Public Health Actions in Emergency Response" conducted in the Emerging, Re-emerging & Neglected Tropical Disease section and the Public Health Strategies to Address Trade and Trade Policy section. The oral presentations took place October 31-November 1 at the 2011 APHA Annual Meeting in Washington DC.
IHLS and HLS Participates in the 22nd Annual San Diego Union Tribune Kids’ News Day
October 25, 2011. In partnership with NBC 7 San Diego, thousands of volunteers took to the streets of San Diego to sell special $1 edition of the San Diego Union-Tribune. IHLS and the Health Law Society as participated in the event.
IHLS and HLS members stood on the door steps of CWSL dressed in yellow aprons and sold 100 papers from the breaking dawn hours until noon. IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang noted, “IHLS and HLS have participated in the Kids’ News Day event for several years now. This is a wonderful opportunity for community partnership to address the health care needs of some of our most vulnerable: our children.”
As in the years past, the front section of the “special” paper was filled with stories about Rady Children’s Hospital patients and the unique care they receive there. All proceeds from the event benefit the programs at the Rady Children’s Hospital.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Gives Counterfeits and Global Health Presentation at University of Miami
October 18, 2011. The international challenges to health care promotion make integration of differing legal and medical perspectives important. Professor Bryan A. Liang gave his perspective on global health and issues in the drug supply safety in an invited presentation at the University of Miami School of Law.
Focusing on the structure of global health drug distribution chain, he noted safety vulnerabilities and international challenges for public health coordination across geopolitical borders. He noted the difficulties of regulating criminal actors, and pointed to law enforcement-public health models to address the global criminal element in this sector.
The presentation was entitled, “Counterfeits and Global Health: Addressing the International Regime,” University of Miami School of Law, October 18, 2011.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Gives Guest Lecture to UCSD Medical Students
October 12, 2011. Timothy Mackey, IHLS Senior Research Associate, current UCSD-SDSU global health doctoral student, and graduate of the Joint Masters Degree in Health Law at UCSD and California Western School of Law, recently gave a guest lecture to UCSD School of Medicine second year medical students on some core principles of legal medicine.
Mr. Mackey's provided an overview on a number of health law principles including medical malpractice, the informed consent doctrine, health care fraud and abuse, and end of life issues. Specifically, the presentation included case studies involving medical malpractice claims, breach of informed consent, fraud and abuse claims implicating the false claims act, anti-kickback statute, and STARK physician self-referral law, and cases involving advanced directives and medical power of attorney.
Mr. Mackey guest lectured upon invitation from faculty of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. His presentation was entitled "Legal Medicine in a Nutshell: The Rules of Engagement" and is part of the required curriculum for medical students.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Discusses Research and Writing Methods with Health Law Master Students
October 4, 2011. Timothy Mackey, IHLS Senior Research Associate, current UCSD-SDSU global health doctoral student, and graduate of the Joint Masters Degree in Health Law at UCSD and California Western School of Law, discussed with Health Law master students strategies and tips on researching and writing methods for completion of independent study projects.
Mr. Mackey's discussed key issues including the need to define an acceptable research question, what content type/format to write in, how to find and review health law related research and content, considerations when forming an ISP committee, understanding how to collect both primary and secondary data for research, and drafting, editing and finalizing an acceptable ISP. He also fielded a number of questions from students and provided real life experience and advice on how to be successful in academic writing.
Mr. Mackey guest lectured for the Health Law Research Forum-A Seminar upon invitation from faculty of the Health Law Masters Degree program at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and California Western School of Law.
IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett Gives Grand Rounds Presentation on Healthcare Reform at UCSD Department of Family and Preventive Medicine
October 4, 2011. The US is the only one of 34 OECD countries not to have universal healthcare. Further, it spends more money per capita than any other OECD country. However, the population health of the United States arguably lags behind several other developed countries by many measures. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010 attempted to partially address these concerns. Dr. Lovett was asked to present the rationale for United States healthcare reform and detail the steps that PPACA has taken and will take to address the shortcomings of the United States healthcare system at a Grand Rounds presentation to the Department of Family and Preventive Medicines at UCSD School of Medicine.
Dr. Lovett notes that the major focuses of PPACA include primary care reform, private insurance reform, and major initiatives to investigate further strategies to achieve cost-effective care, Medicare cost reductions, medical malpractice reform, and greater population health through prevention and screening programs. Dr. Lovett concluded that while there are still major areas of concern to be addressed within the United States healthcare system, the PPACA is a reasonable first start to achieve a healthcare system that can meet the healthcare needs of our nation.
Dr. Lovett’s presentation was entitled, “United States Healthcare Reform: Past, Present, and Future” on October 4, 2011 at UCSD School of Medicine.
IHLS Participates in the 5th Annual Rady Children’s Hospital Shamu & You Family Walk
October 1, 2011. With a strong team of student members from the Health Law Society led by Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator, IHLS was able to raise over $800 for the annual Rady Children’s Hospital Shamu & You Walk.
The Shamu & You event was well attended, with over 4,000 participants. The IHLS “Whale Walkers” enjoyed the day walking through the San Diego Sea World Park with many patient families and friends from Rady Children’s Hospital. All proceeds from the event assist sick children in the San Diego community.
This is an annual community service event for IHLS and provides CWSL students and faculty an opportunity to give back to their community. Pam Tait has led the walk for the past 4 years for the IHLS team.
Christian Science Monitor Publishes Tax Piece by IHLS Member Shannon Biggs
September 26, 2011. As part of his general push to tax “millionaires,” President Obama has once again proposed raising taxes on families making over $250,000 a year, a tax bracket that will already see increases in 2012 as a result of the Affordable Care Act. President Obama argues that these taxpayers are “wealthy” and therefore capable of bearing the additional burden.
In a recent Christian Science Monitor piece, IHLS member Shannon Biggs counters this argument by analyzing just how wealthy a family of four earning $250,000 a year in a high cost area is. Ms. Biggs discovered that there is a real difference between income and wealth, and that in 7 of the 8 high cost areas of the country, a family of four living a modest life would not have enough money to pay all of the bills and save for retirement. Moreover, she found that the $250,000 figure was based on an analysis performed under the Clinton administration almost twenty years ago and that the equivalent salary today would be $386,000. Ms. Biggs warns that setting policy with outdated numbers ensures that, as with the Alternative Minimum Tax, more and more middle class families in high cost areas will be hit by these higher taxes. She urges policymakers to keep in mind the reality of income to wealth ratios in high cost areas of the country as they craft tax policy.
The piece is titled, “Obama’s “Buffet” tax plan hurts hardworking average families too.” It appears in the September 26, 2011 issue of the Christian Science Monitor.
IHLS Joins New Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary Group
September 22, 2011. With the need to develop and strengthen the Children’s Auxiliary Group, Rady Children’s Hospital opened up a new unit. The new unit is called The Mesa Unit, with the motto that “every foundation needs to be built on a strong mesa.”
The new members met at the Rady Auxiliary offices to elect their new board. Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator, was appointed to be the secretary of the new unit. They will meet monthly and Ms. Tait will keep the communication linked between the units and hospital in order to strengthen the auxiliary.
IHLS Participates in San Diego Network for CME Professionals Quarterly Meeting
September 20, 2011. In order to stay in compliance with Continuing Medical Education Accreditation, Sharp Mercy Hospital hosted the last quarterly meeting of the San Diego CME Professionals for 2011. During these meetings, local hospitals and IHLS collaborate on required regulations to keep up their CME accreditations.
IHLS is the only law school in the U.S. that has achieved CME accrediting status and has been granting continuing medical education credit since its first accreditation six years ago.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Named 2011-2012 Carl L. Alsberg, MD Fellow for Safe Medicines
September 19, 2011. The Partnership for Safe Medicines announced that the 2011-2012 Carl L. Alsberg, MD Fellow for Safe Medicines will be IHLS Senior Research Associate Timothy K. Mackey, MAS. Mr. Mackey is in the Joint Doctoral Program in Global Health, University of California San Diego School of Medicine-San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health.
Mr. Mackey will be conducting research on Internet drug sellers and their characteristics to better promote global policy proposals to promote patient safety. His work on illicit online pharmacies has already appeared in leading academic publications such as the Journal of the American Medical Association and Journal of Medical Internet Research.
“This is a well earned accolade by Tim Mackey,” said IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang. “I can think of no other individual more expert nor more deserving of the Alsberg Fellowship. Tim exemplifies the important principles of drug safety in his work, consistent with the goals and reforms of Dr. Alsberg.”
The Partnership for Safe Medicines Carl L. Alsberg, MD Fellowship is named after Carl L. Alsberg, MD, the second US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner. Carl Alsberg was born in New York. After receiving his MD from Columbia, he developed an expertise in biochemistry. In 1912 he succeeded Harvey Wiley as chief of the Bureau of Chemistry, the name of the Food and Drug Administration at the time, a position he remained in until 1921. Alsberg's tenure was characterized by increasing the attention given to drug regulation, to research, and to enforcement that focused on safety of the drug supply. The Fellowship is awarded to researchers focused upon the same themes as reflected in Dr. Alsberg’s tenure: drug regulation, research, and enforcement to promote the highest quality and safest drug supply for patients globally.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Participates in the California Coastal Cleanup Day
September 17, 2011. Mr. Mackey participated in the 27th Annual 2011 California Coastal Cleanup Day in San Diego County. The cleanup took place at the Carlsbad State Beach where Mr. Mackey and other volunteers picked up trash and other garbage which can endanger wildlife and human health.
The California Coastal Cleanup Day is a statewide beach and coastal waterway cleanup that partners with other non-profit groups and is part of the International Coastal Cleanup that also engages other U.S. states and over 70 countries in ocean conservation. The California Coastal Cleanup Day is a regional part of a global movement involving thousands of volunteers all over the world who every year remove and collect data on millions of pounds of trash taken from the ocean and waterways. This data can be used to engage in public outreach, education, and influencing public policy on waste management and ocean conservation.
More information on The California Coastal Cleanup Day can be found at http://cleanupday.org/index.htm.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Gives Presentation on Internship at World Health Organization
September 13, 2011. Timothy Mackey, IHLS Senior Research Associate and UCSD-SDSU global health doctoral student gave a presentation discussing his recent summer internship at the headquarters of the U.N. specialized agency, the World Health Organization, in Geneva, Switzerland. He discussed his experience at the world's preeminent global public health organization with graduate students at SDSU.
The presentation discussed Mr. Mackey's experience working with the WHO Public Health, Innovation, and Intellectual Property group which focuses on exploring linkages between intellectual property and innovation to improve access to healthcare resources for under served global populations. This includes exploring innovative evidence-based policy making, funding mechanisms and providing technical assistance to member states. Mr. Mackey also discussed his activities while working at WHO which included co-authoring a working paper on patents and medicines, developing program material and proposals and attending a number of meetings and conferences at international organizations. He also discussed current challenges faced by WHO in the evolving landscape of global health.
Mr. Mackey's presentation was entitled, "Interning at the World Health Organization: Summer practicum with WHO Public Health, Innovation, and Intellectual Property Group."
Health Law Society joins IHLS in Fundraiser to assist Rady Children’s Hospital Shamu and You Walk
September 12, 2011. To take a break from legal studies, the students in the Health Law Society pulled out their favorite recipes, turned on their ovens and began baking some fancy desserts. With the goal to raise more funds to support the Shamu and You Walk, the cooks created some special fish-themed goodies. The desserts ranged from healthy orange-cranberry scones to whale sized cupcakes with ocean blue frosting and chocolate decadent brownies.
The bake sale was supported by the CWSL community and raised almost $200, which was donated to the assist sick and injured children. The event was organized by IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait and HLS Vice-President Samantha Cantilena.
US News & World Report Best Hospitals Issue Quotes Professor Bryan Liang on Preventive Services
September 10, 2011. The new terms of preventive care coverage under healthcare reform has expanded the potential for improved public health. Yet many are still unsure of how to access these services. US News & World Report interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on these provisions.
Professor Liang explained the key aspects of preventive care coverage and how to access these services at the least cost. Finally, he urged all eligible patients to take advantage of these new benefits.
The story is “A Prevention Perk: Insurers are cutting costs for patients who take steps to head off disease,” by Michael Morella in the 2012 issue of the US News & World Report Best Hospitals Issue.
IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett Gives Presentation on Fair and Just Culture to the California Patient Safety Action Coalition
September 9, 2011. Error disclosure has become a hot topic in the interest of patient safety. Many stakeholders are working to understand how to create an environment within hospitals and medical clinics that will allow medical staffs to openly discuss and investigate errors and near misses while also allaying fears of punishment for the same. The California Patient Safety Action Coalition asked Dr. Lovett to present a physician’s perspective on Fair and Just Culture and comment on possible barriers and novel approaches to implementation of a Fair and Just Culture.
Dr. Lovett notes that inter-physician relationships are toxic and counter to Fair and Just Culture beginning at the onset of medical training in medical school. Further, she notes that most strategies taken to date to implement Fair and Just Culture within medical settings have attempted a “top-down” approach of changing the culture among higher rungs of the hierarchy (attending physicians) with the expectation that it will flatten the hierarchy. Dr. Lovett presented on strategies to take a “bottom-up” approach (teaching medical students how to interact with each other, allied healthcare professionals, residents, and attendings) and a “middle-down” approach (improving resident interactions with medical students) that might aid in Fair and Just Culture implementation.
Dr. Lovett’s presentation was entitled, “Fair and Just Culture: Perspectives of a Young Physician,” given to the California Patient Safety Action Coalition on September 9, 2011.
Consumer Reports Cover Story on Cardiac Testing Quotes IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett
September 1, 2011. The use of the Internet to market medical tests is growing. Yet many of these tests are not evidence-based, and direct marketing to consumers may be a patient safety risk particularly in common disease areas such as cardiology. Consumer Reports interviewed IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett, a noted expert on DTC testing, for her perspective.
Dr. Lovett noted that “Not only is the wrong test a waste of resources, it can be downright dangerous if it leads to inappropriate treatment.” She discussed the downstream negative effects of unproven cardiac tests and that they represent public health risks.
The story is “The Business of Healthy Hearts: Cardiac Care is a Money-Making Machine That Too Often Favors Profit Over Science,” in the September 2011 issue of Consumer Reports.
Daily Journal Quotes Professor Bryan A. Liang on Mental Health Parity Case and Healthcare Reform
August 31, 2011. In continuing coverage of the Harlick case, where the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the California Mental Health Parity Law must be followed by health plans regardless of policy exclusions, there has been a debate on the impact of the decision. The Daily Journal asked Professor Bryan Liang to comment.
Professor Liang noted that much of the debate will be moot as of 2014, when prior mental health needs and treatment cannot be used to exclude as a pre-existing condition and mental health coverage will be part of the essential benefits package under healthcare reform. He indicated that with respect to mental health coverage, the Harlick decision represented the "writing on the wall" as to required coverage in the future.
The story is "Insurers' critics see case as a boost: Appeals court sides with patient, giving hope to others," by Mandy Jackson in the August 31, 2011 issue of the Daily Journal.
Professor Liang Quoted in Daily Journal Story on 9th Circuit Decision on Mental Health Parity
August 29, 2011. The debate as to whether state mental health parity laws must be followed by ERISA plans have been contentious, with alternative arguments made as to policy limits versus state law mandates. However, recently, in the 9th Circuit case Harlick v. Blue Shield of California, the appellate court held that the California Mental Health Parity law did apply to California health plans governed by the federal ERISA statute. The Daily Journal asked Professor Bryan Liang for his reaction.
Dr. Liang noted that the case was interesting because the Circuit Court of Appeals actually noted that the patient’s policy did not cover mental health treatment as claimed by the patient. Yet he observed that the court found that the California Mental Health Parity law in effect must be read into each California health care contract, and all insurers will be subject to its requirements. Dr. Liang also noted that the court precluded the insurer from arguing that the care was not medically necessary, since it did not raise this concern in earlier proceedings.
The story is "Mental illness must be covered by insurance, panel holds," by Mandy Jackson in the August 29, 2011 issue of the Daily Journal.
Daily Journal Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang on Google $500 Million Illicit Online Drug Advertising Settlement
August 25, 2011. The announcement of a $500 million settlement by the US Department of Justice and Google for allowing illicit online pharmacies has focused attention on these online drug sellers. The Daily Journal asked noted expert Professor Bryan Liang on his reaction.
Professor Liang noted that although this was an important step in addressing the illegal online drug seller issue, much more needs to be done. He pointed out that 10 of the 15 largest web advertisers still do not have policies against these illicit operators, and that criminal operations worldwide continue to thwart enforcement efforts. Dr. Liang called for global governance efforts as well as domestic law changes to begin mitigating the explosion of this illegal industry.
The story is "Google on the hook for online pharmacy advertisements," by Mandy Jackson in the August 25, 2011 issue of the Daily Journal.
Rady Children’s Hospital in Cancer Care Center Partners with IHLS in Donnelly Memorial Golf Tournament
August 18, 2011. It was the third year for IHLS to partner with the Cancer Care Center to support the 8th Annual Dale Donnelly Memorial Golf Tournament. As part of the effort, IHLS managed the process of checking in more than 144 golf participants arriving at The Riverwalk Golf Course, set up the carts for each twosome with tournament rules and concessions and supplied them lunch and beverages.
This year, corporate sponsorships provided opportunities to support our military services and allow them to play on a team. Military teams included representatives from the US Navy, US Marines and US Coast Guard.
The past seven tournaments have raised over $94,900 for this worthy cause to help restore, sustain and enhance the health and developmental potential of children in San Diego.
IHLS and UCSD Host MAS Program in Health Law Graduate Celebration and Dinner
August 18, 2011. The Joint CWSL-UCSD MAS Joint Degree Program in Health Law continues to grow and produce strong master’s degree graduates. The program is for experienced professionals with goals that include influencing the development of public policy and law.
With another set of graduates from the program, now in its fifth year, CWSL and UCSD representatives held a celebration dinner honoring these new alums. The graduation celebration was held at The Hilton Harbor Island.
White Paper on Potential Regulatory Efficiencies in California by IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Noted in California Healthline Piece
August 8, 2011. The economic downturn has spurred discussions on regulatory efficiency and better consumer protection. California Healthline featured several key opinion leaders on whether the California Department of Insurance and the Department of Managed Health Care should be merged.
In this series, the White Paper by Professor Bryan Liang on the potential for CDI-DMHC merger was prominently featured. His perspective was specifically supported by Consumer Watchdog, a leader in consumer protection in the health care system in California as well as on the national level.
The California Healthline series was entitled, “Should State Consolidate Health Plan Regulation? How, When?”, sponsored by the California Healthcare Foundation. Professor Liang’s White Paper is entitled, “White Paper: Merger of the Department of Managed Health Care Into the California Department of Insurance: A Policy Assessment, California Department of Insurance, Sacramento, CA.”
IHLS Welcomes New MAS Health Law Class
August 8, 2011. The Institute of Health Law Studies welcomed the 5th Masters in Advanced Study Health Law class to campus. IHLS works with University of California, San Diego to administer the MAS Program.
The MAS program in Health Law is a Joint California Western School of Law—University of California, San Diego program aimed at providing interdisciplinary training in health law and policy using the unique resources of both schools. The program has placed graduates in leading healthcare positions and responsibilities, and provides for important opportunities to write and publish in the health law and policy arena. Professor Bryan A. Liang, IHLS Executive Director, also serves as director of the joint program with Len Deftos, MD, JD, LLM.
WebMD Quotes IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett on Direct-to-Consumer Cardiac Screening Tests
August 2, 2011. With the increased use of high-risk cardiac interventions being deemed excessive, there is a new focus on direct-to-consumer advertising and availability of cardiac screening tests, which ultimately leads to greater use of downstream interventions. WebMD interviewed IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett on the topic.
Dr. Lovett notes that, “When the medical technological revolution started we believed that the more testing we did the better off patients would be, and if we found something abnormal we should act on it.” Dr. Lovett then states, “We now know that acting on abnormal results can actually lead to harm in some cases.” This appears to be the case for conditions including asymptomatic carotid artery disease and asymptomatic coronary artery disease.
The story is “Heart Testing Overused, Report Finds: Direct-to-Consumer Ads Mislead Public, Consumer Reports Says” by Salynn Boyles and is available here.
IHLS Hosts 6th Annual Erizen Sei Bowles Feed A Friend Food Drive
July 31, 2011. Despite hard economic times, the CWSL community supported this month-long, annual event and was very successful in donating a full van of non-perishable food items to stock the Alpha Project’s food bank. With the onset of needy families and more children this year, the homeless community in San Diego has grown. 2011 was IHLS’ sixth year leading this key community effort.
The Erizen Sei Bowles Feed A Friend Food Drive is named after former CWSL student Erizen Sei Bowles, who lost his life in an accident four years ago. He was past HLS President and had a passion and special interest in the plight of the homeless.
IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett Gives Presentation on Physician Performance Measurement at UCI School of Business
July 16, 2011. With the increasing focus on quality under healthcare reform, there is a tremendous amount of attention as to the practical concerns regarding physician performance measurement. In response, IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett presented a guest lecture to the Health Care Executive MBA program in the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California Irvine on physician performance measurement. Dr. Lovett reviewed the current state of performance measurement, pitfalls, and proposed solutions for improvement.
"There are many areas that can be improved, particularly with the assistance of electronic medical records and physician participation," said Dr. Lovett. "To really get at quality improvement, we must measure what can be done to determine what should be done."
Dr. Lovett was asked to give her guest lecture by Professor Terry Schmidt of the UCI School of Management. The title of her presentation was "Quality Care Opportunities: Refining Physician Performance Measurement in Ambulatory Care."
IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Discusses Biosimilars Policy and Science on BIO Panel
June 30, 2011. The newly enacted biosimilar pathway under healthcare reform has attracted significant attention and questions from policy and industry communities alike. At the Biotechnology Industry Organization Annual Meeting, IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan Liang provided his perspective.
“The key to appropriate biosimilars regulation and production is patient safety,” said Dr. Liang. “The best drugs should be the ones approved and win the competitive game. Models from Europe and debates globally all center around trust in the science and transparency in appropriate use.”
Dr. Liang was joined by Michael Karmarck, PhD, President, Merck Bioventures, Marie A. Vodlicka, PhD, Regulatory Affairs Director, Hogan Lovells, and M. Nielsen Hobbs, Editor, “The Pink Sheet.” The session was entitled, “Biologics and Biosimilars: What Is the Science Telling Us?”
Dr. Oz Blog Features IHLS Director Professor Bryan A. Liang Discussing Dangers of Online Drug Sellers
June 24, 2011. The deaths of patients around the world due to drugs sold through illicit online pharmacies have raised an important public health issue to the forefront of societal concern. The Dr. Oz Blog featured IHLS Director Professor Bryan A. Liang, who is also the Vice President of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, to discuss this key consumer issue.
He noted that there are significant risks with online drug sellers, who are part of the criminal element and are not legitimate pharmacies nor run by legitimate pharmacists. Regulators have noted that more than 96% of online drug sellers are acting illegally.
Dr. Liang pointed to important educational needs for the public and policymakers to avoid potential harms from Internet-based medical products that are unregulated. He also provided basic tools for patients to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. The blog can be read here.
IHLS Executive Director Quoted in LA Times on Potential Efficiencies of CDI-DMHC Merger
June 24, 2011. The challenges of consumer protection in health care are growing. Yet California, unique amongst any state in the US, has dual oversight, with the California Department of Insurance and Department of Managed Health Care splitting duties that otherwise would be in one governmental entity. The LA Times interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the issue.
Professor Liang noted that dual regulatory structures were highly inefficient, particularly as health care products are increasingly overlapping. Further, with the California Department of Insurance having an elected Commissioner accountable directly to citizens, increased regulatory oversight, greater tools, and demonstrable outcomes inuring directly to citizens, a merger of DMHC into CDI would be a preferred policy position.
The story is “Should California stop having two health insurance regulators?” by Duke Helfand in the June 24, 2011 issue of the Los Angeles Times.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Gives Senate Congressional Briefing on Illicit Online Drug Sellers
June 23, 2011. The explosion of the Internet has been accompanied by a much less desirable development: the illicit sales of counterfeit, substandard, and diverted drugs without a prescription online. This has attracted significant policy attention.
Professor Bryan A. Liang was asked to give a Senate Congressional Briefing on the dangers of illicit online drug sellers. He indicated the scope of the problem, the need for public-private partnerships, and the challenges of global governance and the need for collaboration to address this important public health concern. He was jointed by Deputy Direct of Compliance at the FDA, Ilisa Bernstein, as well as Melissa Madigan, Policy and Communications Director, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
Professor Liang’s briefing was entitled, “Promoting Online Drug Safety: Addressing Illicit Drug Sales.”
Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang Meets With Sen. Bennett Staff to Discuss Safety of the Drug Supply
June 23, 2011. The challenges with security of drug supply chain are growing, as recent cargo thefts of pharmaceuticals and increasing threats to its integrity have been reported. To assist in policymaker efforts to combat this issue, Professor Bryan A. Liang was asked to participate in a briefing of Sen. Michael Bennett’s staff on the topic.
Professor Liang was joined by members of the Partnership for Safe Medicines as well as the Men’s Health Network to discuss key aspects of the issue. These discussion will broaden to other interested policymakers as strategies to address these concerns emerge.
IHLS Member Kimberly Lovett, MD and Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Article on Suspect Direct-to-Consumer Online Advertising of Cardiac Tests Published in JAMA
June 22, 2011. The explosion of the Internet has created the potential to increase commerce and economic activity. However, in addition, it has also led to questionable vendors and sales of medical products.
IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett and IHLS Executive Director published their article, “DTC Cardiac Screening and Suspect Risk Evaluation” in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In this piece, they outline the extent of cardiac screening tests offered online, and find that none of most commonly advertised cardiac screening tests are supported by established U.S. Preventative Services Task Force or medical specialty guidelines. They also note the patient safety and public health risks associated with these tests. They call for oversight by the FDA of this burgeoning industry.
The piece was published in the June 22/29, 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. This journal is one of the highest impact factor journals globally in medicine and health policy.
Consumer Reports Interviews IHLS Member Dr. Kimberly Lovett on Risks of Direct-to-Consumer Cardiac Screening Tests
June 18, 2011. Cardiac Disease is the leading cause of mortality in the United States. The online direct-to-consumer medical industry has been exploiting patient fears regarding living with undetected disease and promoting screening tests that are both unproven and dangerous for direct-to-consumer use. Consumer Reports asked IHLS Member Dr. Lovett to comment on these risks.
She noted that the accuracy and reliability of medical testing depends on a good medical history, carefully selecting patients, and providing post-test counseling- practices not currently inherent to the direct-to-consumer industry. Further, Dr. Lovett explained that many of the tests being promoted for direct-to-consumer cardiac screening are not evidence-based and some actually have published guidance recommending against their use as screening tests.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Releases White Paper Policy Analysis on Potential California Department of Insurance-Department of Managed Health Care Merger
June 20, 2011. The depth and extent of healthcare reform as well as the difficult economy has created a need to reevaluate the desirability of two agencies governing healthcare in California. The California Department of Insurance asked Professor Bryan A. Liang to perform a policy assessment of the desirability and potential to merge CDI and DMHC.
Professor Liang released his report and concluded that it is highly desirable to consider merging the two departments. Further, on the basis of accountability to voters, operational efficiencies, consumer protection powers, and federal healthcare reform, CDI should be the lead agency if the entities are merged. He called for hearing on the potential for such a merger.
The White Paper is entitled, “Merger of the Department of Managed Health Care Into the California Department of Insurance: A Policy Assessment,” released June 20, 2011.
IHLS Publishes Series of Health Policy Articles in San Diego Physician
June 15, 2011. The tremendous level of changes in health care has spurred policy developments on local, national, and international levels. IHLS published a series of articles addressing some of these issues in sequential issues of San Diego Physicians.
First, in the May 2011 issue, IHLS Member Kimberly Lovett, MD and IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang address a key policy proposal under healthcare reform: additional measures of physician services and quality. However, although a theoretically beneficial development, Drs. Lovett and Liang note that “measurement bias” may result in physicians focusing only on those characteristics that are measured and those patients with positive measurement scores. They point to the bioethical issues associated with this approach, and call for increased attention through reformulating the measurement systems to evaluate all opportunities for quality, rather than simply a handful that can be gamed.
In the second piece in the May 2011 issue, Drs. Lovett and Liang also take on the policy proposal from the federal government to “partner with patients” to improve patient safety and quality. However, they note that this “partnership” does not encompass public reporting of health care provider effectiveness in such a partnership as measured by quality and safety improvement, and find that the promise of the approach is undermined by its lack of transparency.
Finally, in the third piece in the June 2011 issue, Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey and IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang address another cutting edge issue: the use of social media by illegal online pharmacies. Mr. Mackey and Dr. Liang were the first researchers to identify the presence of these illegal online pharmacies in the social media space, and warn physicians and their patients to avoid their use. They call for strict regulation of these illegal online pharmacies and their spread throughout the Internet.
Professor Liang Submits Testimony for Disability Insurance Reform Bill
June 2, 2011. Disability insurance policyholders in California have faced strong challenges as previous instances of the Department of Insurance not protecting consumers against insurer abuses have been reported. The use of “discretionary clauses” by disability insurers to usurp full judicial review has been highlighted. SB 621, by California Senator Calderon, has introduced potential legislation to reform Insurance Commissioner power to protect beneficiaries from arbitrary denial of their claims. Professor Liang was asked to comment on the bill.
He provided testimony that indicated the key lack of protections for disability policy holders, and noted that there have been notable investigations outlining key concerns with disability insurer oversight. In supporting the bill, he also noted that it would require the Insurance Commissioner to reject disability policies with discretionary clauses, and noted that such a bill would not run afoul of federal law according to recent jurisprudence.
Inside Higher Ed Quotes Professor Bryan Liang on Sen. Rockefeller’s Letter on College Health
May 24, 2011. With increasing attention to medical loss ratios of insurers and the federal government’s focus on excessive rate increases, Senator John D. Rockefeller wrote to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to register his concern regarding college health plans. Inside Higher Ed interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on this move.
Professor Liang noted that college plan quality and spending often do not provide the best services for students. Further, he noted that in fact, profit and administrative costs indicated that insurers in college health can easily reach the medical loss ratios indicated in health reform. Professor Liang indicated that college health plans should not be given waivers and should be held to the mandates of the health reform law.
Senator Rockefeller is Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee. In his letter, he quoted Professor Liang’s study, “Crisis on Campus: Student Access to Healthcare” that was published in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform.
The story is “Senator: Insurers Dodging Student Health Plan Reform,” in the May 24, 2011 edition of Inside Higher Ed.
Professor Bryan Liang Gives Plenary Lecture on Ethics and Medical-Legal Issues in Stroke Care at Baylor Medical Conference
May 23, 2011. With the growing aging population, ischemic stroke is one of the key disease states that represent large costs for treatment over the next 20 years. Recognizing this tremendous potential, Baylor College of Medicine convened its Second Annual Latest Advances in Ischemic & Hemorrhagic Stroke Therapy conference. Because of the interface between evidence-based practice and potential legal liability in the context of healthcare reform, Professor Bryan A. Liang was invited to give the plenary presentation on this topic.
Dr. Liang noted that liability can arise from traditional tort law, and discussed the different interpretations with regard to the standard of care. As well, he reviewed important perspectives on healthcare reform that will impact reimbursement for stroke care as well as quality initiatives that may reduce these reimbursements. He pointed to the use of third parties such as insurers and health care exchanges under the new reform law that also represent sources of potential conflict as the focus on costs continues.
Dr. Liang’s presentation was entitled, "Ischemic Stroke and Financial Risks: Using tPA to Trace Potential Liability and Reimbursement Loss." Dr. Liang was also joined by the other experts from the conference for a panel discussion on "Managing Advances in Stroke Therapy." He was invited to give the plenary lecture by Dr. Ken Layton, Director of Interventional Radiology at Baylor College of Medicine.
Wall Street Journal Quotes Professor Bryan Liang in Google Rogue Pharmacy Ads Story
May 21, 2011. With search engine Google being investigated by the Department of Justice for profiting off illicit online drug sellers, there has been a greater focus on how Google did not have knowledge of the lack of legitimacy of these sellers. The Wall Street Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the topic.
Professor Liang noted that there has been a long history of search engines profiting off illicit online sellers, particularly through purported third party "verifiers" who perform limited oversight and profit with search engines from these illicit sellers. Dr. Liang was the co-author of a large study that identified this limited oversight by both search engines and "verifiers". He also noted that other search engines beyond Google were selling advertisements to these illicit drug sellers who were also "verified."
The story is "Google Was Warned of Rogue Drug Ads," by Thomas Cata and Amir Efrati on page B1 in the May 21, 2011 issue of the Wall Street Journal.
Professor Bryan Liang Quoted in ERISA-California Mental Health Parity Act Daily Journal Story
May 11, 2011. The ability to invoke state law in denial of care claims for ERISA plans has moved to the area of mental health. Recent lawsuits have attempted to invoke protections of the California Mental Health Parity Law in cases of ERISA plan denials. The Daily Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang for his insights.
Professor Liang noted that even with heightened standards of review, federal courts have expressly rejected state mental health parity acts as the basis for reversing or assessing ERISA plan coverage and denials. He indicated that the plaintiff in the case will face an uphill battle in trying to use the state law in this ERISA case.
The story is, “Appeals Court Weighs Anorexia Lawsuit,” by Emma Gallegos in the May 11, 2011 issue of the Daily Journal.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Appears on Dr. Oz Program to Warn of Botox Issues
May 10, 2011. Dr. Bryan A. Liang, IHLS Executive Director, and Vice President of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, appeared on the Dr. Oz show discussing emerging issues relating to Botox use. He is also Professor of Anesthesiology and Director, San Diego Center for Patient Safety, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
Dr. Liang warned that the exploding use of Botox and anti-wrinkle procedures has created dangers associated with the drug. Dr. Liang first noted that botulinum toxin A, the active ingredient in Botox, is one of the most lethal substances known to humankind, killing up to 20,000 people with only the weight of an eyelash of the toxin. Second, he noted that patients should not buy Botox over the Internet, as counterfeit versions are poor quality and different concentrations, and administering the drug requires significant precautions. Finally, he noted that patient should examine the Botox vial, ensuring it is new, has the company name Allergan on it with Botox on the label, has a hologram spelling out Allergan, and is not past its expiration date.
The Botox story was the first aired segment on the Dr. Oz show on May 10th.
Professor Bryan Liang Interviewed on Fox Morning News on Botox Warnings
May 10, 2011. The expanding use of Botox treatments has increased the market for this procedure significantly. Yet because of the dangers associated with the drug, patients have experienced adverse reactions to the drug.
Fox Morning News San Diego interviewed Professor Bryan A. Liang on the risks associated with Botox. He noted that patients who want the procedure should ensure that a licensed professional is doing the procedure, should not buy materials online or administer it themselves, and should always check the bottle to verify it is legitimate Botox. He also noted the risks of fakes, including those from China that have up to 500% higher active ingredients that normal.
The segment was on Fox Morning News, and Dr. Liang was interviewed by Anchor/Reporter Erica Fox.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Gives Presentation on the Global Health Brain Drain of Health Workers
April 27, 2011. Timothy Mackey, IHLS Senior Research Associate and UCSD-SDSU global health doctoral student gave a presentation outlining the global health crisis of international health worker migration from resource-poor countries to developed countries. His presentation was made to a graduate seminar on Political Systems of Developing Nations at San Diego State University.
The presentation discussed the ongoing global problem of imbalances in health worker migration which has an adverse health, social, and economic impact on resource-poor countries. With a growing global demand for health care workers, especially in developed countries, resource-poor countries suffer from severe health worker shortages which inhibit their ability to support global health interventions, build important health systems infrastructure and widens the gap in global health disparity between rich and poor. These shortages and loss of capacity threaten current efforts of delivering life-saving interventions for those suffering from HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases. In order to address this important health equity and justice issue, a rebalancing of equitable resource sharing within the current global health governance framework is necessary.
Mr. Mackey's presentation was entitled, "Addressing Brain Drain: Exploring Global Inequities in Health Worker Migration."
Professor Bryan Liang and Kaiser Permanente Physician Kimberly Lovett Publish Perspectives Piece on Quality and Safety in Daily Journal
April 25, 2011. The recent announcement of the federal Partnership for Patients initiative as an effort to promote patient safety is theoretically a step in the right direction. Yet in the context of the poor state of patient safety recently reported, its provisions may actually represent regress rather than progress.
Professor Bryan Liang and Kaiser Permanente physician Kimberly Lovett, MD, published a Perspectives piece in the Daily Journal criticizing the initiative for its lack of provider transparency in both safety and quality outcomes as well as patient experience scores. They call for a open reporting of all provider scores and advocate for policy change, recognizing patients pay the financial and clinical costs for poorly performing health care providers.
The piece is entitled, “Two Steps Back,” and appears in the April 25, 2011 issue of the Daily Journal, page 5.
US News & World Report Quotes Professor Liang on Insurance Coverage in Best Graduate Schools 2012 Edition
April 21, 2011. Healthcare reform is changing the nature of student access to healthcare. Because of these dramatic changes, parents and students are often confused about their options. The US News & World Report interviewed Professor Bryan Liang to sort out the issues and options in its 2012 Best Graduate Schools issue.
Dr. Liang noted that staying on a parental plan sponsored by employers is the best option for most students. He indicated that the scope and costs under this options are the most comprehensive and lowest in price. In the alternative, he discussed school-sponsored plans, individual plans, and other systems that can provide students with needed coverage in school.
The story is “A Scan of Your Health Plan Options,” by Michael Morella in the US News & World Report 2102 Best Graduate Schools issue.
Dr. Bryan A. Liang Chosen as Member of US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Patient Safety Study Section
April 18, 2011. The focus of healthcare reform and continuing challenges associated with medical errors and patient safety require national attention to these concerns. In response, the Obama administration has chosen members of a new Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Study Section to assist in identifying important projects with significant patient safety potential. Dr. Bryan A. Liang, Shapiro Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies, California Western School of Law, and Professor of Anesthesiology and Director, San Diego Center for Patient Safety, was chosen to as an inaugural member of this elite group.
Dr. Liang was chosen because of his extensive expertise in a wide spectrum of patient safety activities, his status as an authority in the field, and his “outstanding professional achievements.” He will serve on the Study Section for four years. His nomination and appointment was approved by Dr. Andrew Louden, Scientific Review Officer, and Carolyn Clancy, MD, Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Professor Bryan Liang Interviewed on Dr. Oz Show Warning of Botox Dangers
April 13, 2011. The explosion of the use of anti-wrinkle drug Botox (botulinum toxin A) has resulted in millions of these cosmetic procedures annually. However, high levels of risk accompany this procedure and drug. The Dr. Oz show featured Professor Bryan Liang to explain some of the dangers associated with Botox.
Dr. Liang first noted that a billionth of an ounce of botulinum toxin can kill a person, and that the difference between its anti-wrinkle effect and lethal dose is the weight of a single eyelash. He indicated that patients and providers should not buy this material online and self-administer the drug because of the nuances required for its effects. Finally, he counseled patients to insist that providers show them the bottle, look to ensure it has not been used, and examine the bottle including assessing the expiration date, the drug’s name, and the identifying hologram on the legitimate product. He also noted that if the price is too good to be true, patients should not risk their life and health using that provider.
Dr. Liang was further interviewed for the Dr. Oz show on some of the important warnings associated with online pharmacy purchases of Botox and side effects of knock-off products. This additional materials will appear on the Dr. Oz website.
The segment is scheduled to appear in early May on the Dr. Oz show.
IHLS Participates in Health and Wellness Fair and Promotion for CWSL Faculty and Staff
April 5, 2011. The promotion of health and wellness information in both the school and workplace is essential to healthy behavior and the physical and mental well-being of all members of society. In order to support efforts aimed at preserving a strong and healthy community, IHLS assisted the CWSL human resources team in educating fair attendees about the need to engage in healthy behavior and undergo important health screenings which were made available during this event.
The health and wellness fair offered blood pressure and BMI screenings as well as massages and other valuable health information to a variety of engaged participants. In addition, several major healthcare vendors and providers, such as Aetna, Scripps Health, Alliant, VSP, the YMCA and others, offered important health related resources.
IHLS provided support in event registration, raffle signups and serving attendees with healthy snacks and drinks as part of an inspiring day of putting the health needs of people first. Through its participation in this event, IHLS continues to recognize the need to engage and educate people about the benefits and resources available for healthy lifestyles.
IHLS and Health Law Society Host Second San Diego Blood Drive of 2011
March 31, 2011. Patients continue to require life saving supplies of blood and blood products which are in short supply. In partnership with the San Diego Blood Bank, the Institute of Health Law Studies continues to support efforts to collect blood donations which will save patient lives throughout 2011.
In its second blood drive of the year, IHLS worked with the Health Law Society to procure blood donations from a number of donors from the CWSL and the San Diego community. Pam Tait of IHLS and student volunteers were able to register 22 donors and the collect 17 pints of blood which has the potential to save 34 lives.
These actions serve as further commitment of IHLS in serving the broader community as well as patients who are in immediate need. IHLS will continue its ongoing support of the San Diego Blood Drive in order to provide this important public service to the community.
IHLS Hosts 7th Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference, “Public-Private Partnerships in Global Health”
March 25, 2011. The reality that key issues in healthcare go beyond geo-political lines is evident by challenges associated with important public health concerns. Pandemics, human-sourced disasters, drug safety, HIV-AIDS and TB control and treatment all represent global circumstances that require a wide array of stakeholder efforts to effectively address. Simultaneously, a much broader range of global health organizations have increasing played a role in addressing these and other international public health needs beyond traditional public health authorities. Foundations, international agencies outside the health realm, and the private sector have also become key participants in creating policies and programs in an effort to promote global public health.
Hence, IHLS convened the 7th Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference, “Public-Private Partnerships in Global Health.” The conference explored different models of public-private partnerships emerging from the expansion of global health activities to these larger body of groups, and will provide lessons for participants, providers, and policymakers as to how to best engage these entities and systems to most effectively and efficiently advance global health.
Speakers for the conference brought their unique viewpoints and experiences in illustrating important public-private partnerships and lessons learned from each. The speakers included: Thomas Kubic, President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, and a former Senior Executive at the FBI; Louise Gresham, PhD, Senior Director, NTI Global Health and Security Initiative; Thomas Novotny, MD, MPH, Professor and co-director of the Joint Degree Program (PhD) in Global Health, University of California San Diego-San Diego State University, and former Assistant Surgeon General and Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Refugee Health; Tim Mackey, MAS, Senior Research Associate, IHLS, and Joint Degree Program in Global Health, University of California San Diego-San Diego State University; Scott LaGanga, MBA, MPA, executive director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines and Vice President of Alliances, Affordability and Access at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a trade association of leading U.S. pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies; and Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD, Shapiro Distinguished Professor and Executive Director, Institute of Health Law Studies, California Western School of Law; and Professor of Anesthesiology and Director, San Diego Center for Patient Safety, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
The event was attended by a broad array of medical, nursing, public health, public policy, legal, military, and industry leaders from the USA, Asia, and the European Union. The proceedings from the 7th Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference will be published and disseminated for broader stakeholder use.
Professor Bryan Liang Joins Journal of Commercial Biotechnology Editorial Board
March 24, 2011. The challenges of biotechnology and the interface of law, policy, and global health have expanded the need for interdisciplinary expertise in assessing important academic work. The Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, a Nature Publishing Group Journal, therefore asked Professor Bryan A. Liang to join its Editorial Board due to his extensive policy experience and multidisciplinary academic training.
"I am delighted to join the Editorial Board of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology,” said Professor Liang on the announcement. "The Journal's Board is a talented set of public sector, business, and academic leaders; I am humbled to be asked to join this elite group.”
In addition to Professor Liang, IHLS Member James Class, PhD, is also on the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology Editorial Board.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Organizes Aid Donation for Japanese Disaster with Local Faith-Based Organization
March 23, 2011. In response to the unprecendented disaster and loss of life due to the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan, Timothy Mackey, Senior Research Associate at IHLS, helped organize a monetary aid package with a local faith-based organization, the International Christian Church of San Diego. This faith-based organization has many members who are of Japanese descent and who have family and friends which have been adversely affected by this disaster. Mr. Mackey, along with the board and the officers of this organization, provided a monetary donation to the U.S.-Japan Council Earthquake Relief Fund, which has raised approximately $1.5 million dollars up to this date.
The U.S.-Japan Council is a non-profit organization with close ties to the Japanese government, business sector, academia, and community organizations. It has pledged to provide 100% of the funds raised for the immediate relief efforts as well as long-term economic recovery and rebuilding of Japan. More information can be found on its website at https://www.usjapancouncil.org/fund.
New American Foundation’s Higher Ed Watch Published Professor Bryan Liang’s Guest Blog Commentary on Student Health Plans
March 22, 2011. The implementation of healthcare reform has drawn significant attention to the challenges of addressing all patient care needs. In particular, the college and university population continue to be excluded from using parental insurance on campus. Professor Bryan Liang authored a guest blog commentary on the current state of affairs in regulating the college health arena.
Professor Liang noted that although some regulations have come out appropriately indicating some school plans are not exempt from healthcare reform provisions, there are many other concerns that preclude students from accessing health care while in school. He called for more tight control of poorly performing plans and mandating that students who exercise their rights under healthcare reform to stay on their parents’ plan should be allowed to use that coverage on campus.
The blog is “A Win for Students? Not Quite Yet,” posted March 22, 2011 and is available here.
Wall Street Journal/Marketwatch Online Pharmacy Story Quotes Executive Director Bryan Liang
March 9, 2011. The increasing attention to illegal online pharmacies and their impact on patients and public health has continued, with White House, Department of Justice, and global efforts to regulate these entities. The Wall Street Journal/Marketwatch interviewed Professor Bryan Liang for his insights into the problem.
Dr. Liang noted there is a significant ease to get in and out of the rogue online pharmacy business, making ease of entry straightforward for these criminals. He also noted that there is increasing penetration and organized crime elements participating, including those from eastern Europe, adding to the counterfeit drug flow from India and China. He called for public-private partnerships to address this global public health concern.
The story is “Internet Drug Scams Can Make You Sick,” by Val Kennedy in the March 9, 2011 issue of the Wall Street Journal/Marketwatch.
WebMD Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Bad Faith Health Insurance Claims
March 8, 2011. With new healthcare provisions still in implementation stages, there is confusion as to consumer protections and bad faith denials of care. WebMD interviewed Professor Bryan Liang, a noted expert on health insurance.
Dr. Liang noted that although there are provisions to protect patients for bad faith under state laws, it is still very difficult to prosecute these cases. He noted that patients-consumers should know their policy provisions, enter into internal administrative appeals processes as required, and look to the state to determine if there is any right to independent review. He also indicated that it is important to get legal counsel experienced in the area to ensure protection of the patient-consumer’s legal rights.
The story is “Health Insurance Navigator: Before You Sue Your Health Insurance Company,” by Lisa Zamosky in the March 8, 2011 edition of WebMD.
IHLS Sponsors Student Team in California Innocence Project Dodgeball Tournament
March 7, 2011. Each year, IHLS sponsors a student team to support this teambuilding event, which is for the benefit of the California Innocence Project. The theme this year was Vampires and Werewolves. To fit in, IHLS named their team The Blood Bank. The seven member team wore shirts with different blood types of positive and negative types. The Blood Bank team kicked off the event with CIP’s team, the Werewolves. The competition was quite fierce without any real blood being shed.
The team competitions went throughout the evening with The IHLS Blood Bank team making it through three very competitive rounds.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Gives Presentation at San Diego State University's 2011 Student Research Symposium and Wins President's Award
March 4, 2011. Timothy Mackey, IHLS Senior Research Associate and UCSD-SDSU global health doctoral student participated in the San Diego State University 2011 Student Research Symposium, which brings together more than 400 SDSU undergraduate, masters and doctoral students to present their original research. Mr. Mackey discussed the current debate of off label prescribing and promotion of pharmaceuticals and the need for promoting access to underserved populations as well as ensuring more robust regulation and enforcement.
Mr. Mackey's presentation won the President's Award, given to the top 10 projects of the entire event. In addition, recipients of the President's Award will represent SDSU at the Annual California State University Research Competition held each spring, with over 23 California State campus representatives competing.
Mr. Mackey's presentation was entitled, "Off Label, Off Limits?: Assessing the Regulation, Debate, Enforcement, and Potential Policy Considerations of Off-label Promotion." It highlighted the research conducted by Mr. Mackey and IHLS Executive Director Dr. Bryan Liang on the subject. Mr. Mackey accepted his President's Award at the SDSU SRS Awards Ceremony on March 5, 2011.
Health Law Society Hosts Speaker Event at Palomar Poway Hospital
March 3, 2011. With the assistance of Palomar Poway Hospital’s general counsel, Ms. Janine Sarti, HLS sponsored a speaker event at the hospital grounds. The event was held to provide law students information and resources to use after graduating with their focus on a health law concentration degree. Many students are not aware of some professional opportunities for them when they graduate. Students were encourages to focus their law studies on health law and to take advantage of the direction of the Institute’s Executive Director, Bryan A. Liang.
In addition to coursework and classes, students were told to develop their writing skills. The IHLS health law and policy concentration provides an open opportunity for students to develop their writing skills so they are able to produce high quality publishable health articles before they graduate. Currently IHLS has approximately 25 students in the program.
Professor Bryan Liang and Dr. Kimberly Lovett Publish Daily Journal Perspectives Piece on Performance Measures
March 2, 2011. As health care reform provisions come into play this year, new requirements for performance measurement will be implemented. Physicians and attorneys will need to be cognizant of these changes.
Dr. Kimberly Lovett, of Kaiser Permanente and UCSD School of Medicine and Professor Bryan A. Liang, IHLS Executive Director, published a Perspectives piece outlining the new law's provisions as well as considered key important milestones that will influence provider clinical performance scores and payment. It noted that an emphasis on measurable outcomes and cost reduction will be the foundational tenets of the new healthcare system.
The Perspectives piece is entitled, "Performance Measures: The Infrastructure of Quality and Safety Efforts under Health Care Reform," on page 7 of the March 2, 2011 edition of the Daily Journal.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Meets with Prospective Health Law Students
March 1, 2011. Timothy Mackey, IHLS Senior Research Associate and the first Health Law MAS graduate gave a presentation and met with prospective students at the MAS Health Law Information Session at the University of California, San Diego. Mr. Mackey discussed the merits of the program and how it has changed his life both personally and professionally.
Mr. Mackey noted that the Health Law MAS is a unique professional graduate program bringing together a multidiscplinary group of academics and professionals in studying topics that intersect health care and law. The program is a joint masters degree with students taking classes with faculty from both UCSD and California Western School of Law.
Mr. Mackey expressed his gratitude for the program, which has benefited him from a professional standpoint and also has allowed him to pursue further advanced studies in a doctoral program in Global Health at UCSD. Through working with experts in the field such as IHLS Executive Director, Dr. Bryan Liang, Mr. Mackey stated that he has been able to accomplish more than he had ever imagined. Over 20 prospective students attended the information session and many expressed interest in taking advantage of this unique educational opportunity.
Professor Bryan Liang Publishes San Diego Union Tribune Op Ed Calling for More Consumer Protections Against Rogue Online Pharmacies
February 25, 2011. This month marks the 10th anniversary of the death of 17 year old honors student Ryan Haight, who died from drugs illegally sold over the Internet. Professor Bryan Liang, in an opinion editorial in the San Diego Union Tribune, called on Congress to extend protections from the Ryan Haight Online Consumer Protection Act to encompass the growing challenges from illegal online drug selling. He also encouraged global cooperation to address this worldwide public health concern. He urged policymakers to ensure that the legacy of Ryan Haight is not forgotten, and that “no one should ever have to bet his or her life on the legitimacy of an online pharmacy.”
The opinion editorial is entitled, “Don’t underestimate the danger of drugs from abroad,” in the February 25, 2011 issue of the San Diego Union Tribune.
IHLS Participates in San Diego County Medical Society Identity Theft Seminar
February 24, 2011. Identity theft was designated as a federal crime by an act of Congress in 1998. Each year approximately 15 million Americans are identity theft victims with losses to the country totaling almost $50 billion. IHLS was invited to participate in an important seminar on the increasing regional and national problem involving identity theft. The City of San Diego’s lead detectives provided information to the select attendees at the seminar on means and methods by which these criminal act are perpetrated.
IHLS has provided information and education on identity theft, particularly for vulnerable patient populations including the elderly and minority groups. Through combining Institute efforts and the City of San Diego’s approaches, IHLS can more effectively bring awareness of the issue to the local community.
Professor Bryan Liang & Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey’s Piece on Internet Direct to Consumer Drug Advertising Published in JAMA
February 23, 2011. Drug advertising directly to consumers is only legal in the United States and New Zealand. Yet the advent of interactive, "Web 2.0" social media systems have created new challenges.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey identify these issues in a recent piece in the Journal of the American Medical Association. They note that not only is the global proscriptions against direct to consumer advertising are being potentially violated through the Internet, Dr. Liang and Mr. Mackey also discovered that illegal online drug sellers are also using social media tools to illicitly sell without a prescription. They call for regulatory action including filtering software and public private partnerships to address this key public health concern.
The paper is "Direct to Consumer Advertising with Interactive Internet Media: Global Regulation and Public Health Issues," in the February 23, 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, page 824. JAMA is the most widely read medical journal in the world, and has one of the highest global impact factors in medicine and health policy.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Gives Presentation on Pharmaceutical Marketing Using Social Media
February 17, 2011. Timothy Mackey, IHLS Senior Research Associate and UCSD-SDSU global health doctoral student gave a presentation describing the new digital era of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing using social media. He presented to the Health Law Joint Program Development Team, which includes legal and medical professionals from California Western School of Law and UCSD School of Medicine.
The presentation outlined the emergence of direct-to-consumer advertising over the internet and through the use of social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and other digital outlets. These forms of marketing targeted directly to consumers are not restrained by geopolitical boundaries and have hence globalized to consumers around the world. However, direct-to-consumer advertising may be harmful to public health, may increase healthcare expenditures through increased drug spending, and may place patient safety at risk through promotion of untested drugs. In addition, illicit actors such as rogue online pharmacies may employ these technologies to sell their tainted and counterfeit products. Failure of regulators to provide guidance and police this inappropriate activity represents a serious and unrecognized problem.
Mr. Mackey's presentation was entitled, "Globalization of DTCA: The dangers of direct-to-consumer advertising in the digital and social media age."
Executive Director Professor Bryan Liang Quoted in Chronicle of Higher Education on Proposed Student Health Plan Regulations
February 10, 2011. With the proposed regulations on school sponsored health insurance plans just released, the sometimes embittered debate on how these plans will be treated under healthcare reform has become somewhat clearer. The Chronicle of Higher Education asked Professor Bryan Liang for his perspective.
Professor Liang noted that the proposed regulations appropriately treat these plans as individual plans on the basis of established federal law, and at least some students will obtain the benefits of the health reform law. However, he noted that the 30 month delay before the regulations would go into place, and an exemption for self-funded plans require that continued pressure and attention be paid to this issue as comments on the proposed regulations are reviewed by regulators.
The story is "Colleges' Student Health Plans Would Offer More Protections Under Proposed Rules, by Sara Lipka in the February 10, 2011 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Daily Journal Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang on Pharmaceutical Compulsory License Controversy in Developing Markets
February 10, 2011. The expansion of the pharmaceutical markets is moving into developing markets. Yet some local drug companies in these markets are attempting to obtain compulsory licenses for blockbuster drugs that avoid intellectual property laws, claiming that the price in the country limits access. The Daily Journal asked Professor Bryan Liang for his perspective.
Professor Liang noted that India is the test country in this situation, due to its new laws allowing compulsory licenses if the benefits of the intellectual property system do not reach its citizens. However, he pointed out that if that country grants a compulsory license using the justification that some of the country’s citizens cannot afford the drug, then there is a risk that all countries would do so for all drugs, and the exception would swallow the rule. He said that the next several months will be key as the process unfolds to see if a compulsory license is granted.
The story is "Foreign Drug Licensing Next Front in Drug in War on Health Care Costs," by Mandy Jackson in the February 10, 2011 edition of the Daily Journal, page 1.
Inside Higher Ed Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Proposed Federal Regulations of School-Sponsored Health Insurance Plans
February 10, 2011. The treatment of school-sponsored health insurance plans under healthcare reform has been a highly contentious issue, with schools promoting these plans wanting exemptions while patient advocates insist that these are the very poor performing plans that need reform applied. With proposed regulations released, Inside Higher Ed asked Professor Bryan Liang on his thoughts.
Dr. Liang indicated these new proposed regulations are a win for students. They treat school plans like individual health insurance plans, which thereby requires health reform consumer protections to be applied and do not grant these school plans any waiver from these important standards. Dr. Liang noted that now, the battle will turn to comments to the proposed regulations before interim final regulations are written.
The story is "Reform for Student Health Plans," by Allie Grasgreen in the February 10, 2011 issue of Inside Higher Ed.
IHLS Attends San Diego Network of CME Professionals Quarterly Meeting
February 8, 2011. The increasing pressures on providing continuing medical education (CME) in a manner that is appropriate, useful, and culturally competent have grown with the enactment of health care reform and state mandates involving healthcare access. To address these dynamic concerns, the San Diego Network of CME Professionals meet each quarter to exchange information and best practices.
Kaiser Permanente hosted the first meeting for 2011. The event covered new approaches to provide CME credits and evaluation surveys through the internet. Further, with newly revised CME criteria, providing CME has brought some new challenges to the forefront. The meeting provided the opportunity for IHLS to share its new ways of communicating and documenting CME events with the local hospitals.
Pam Tait is the IHLS CME Coordinator, and has in the past led the San Diego Network of CME Professionals. IHLS has also hosted these quarterly meetings.
Professor Liang Discusses Emergencies and Preparedness Ethics, Paradigms, and Choices at UCSD School of Medicine Presentation
Feb. 4, 2011. The increasing threats worldwide of emergencies create important needs to prepare. However, challenges and planning mandate assessing important considerations not only before the fact, but after the fact as well. Professor Bryan Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies, California Western School of Law, as well as Director, San Diego Center for Patient Safety at UCSD, was asked to provide his perspective on these concerns.
Dr. Liang noted that ethical paradigms and choices were extant in any emergency planning and response, and noted that health care providers will be judged often harshly after the emergency occurs. He noted that alternative models for resource priorities conflict, and that community involvement and transparency are the key strategies to ensure that models of scarce resource allocation are chosen and accepted by all stakeholders.
Dr. Liang’s presentation was entitle, “ Perceptions of Care in Emergencies and Disasters: Choices, Paradigms, and Responses." He was asked to present by Dr. Thomas Coleman of the Preventive Residency Program, UCSD School of Medicine.
IHLS Holds 7th Annual Warm A Heart Clothing Drive
February 1, 2011. Serving the needs of homeless men, women, and children, who need clothing during the winter season is an important philanthropic endeavor. As part of its continued community outreach, the Institute of Health Law Studies will be participating in its Warm A Heart Homeless Clothes Drive held during the entire month of February. IHLS partners with the Alpha Project, a philanthropic organization that services the San Diego homeless community, to collect clothes donations to benefit those who are in need of assistance during these difficult economic times.
With the number of homeless in San Diego Country rising over the last few years, IHLS is fortunate to be given the opportunity to provide needed resources of clean clothing for this vulnerable group. IHLS is also a recent recipient of the Alpha Project Service Appreciation Award for its efforts in supporting the homeless.
IHLS Participates in Outreach and Environmental Cleanup of Presidio Park
January 30, 2011. Ensuring that San Diego parks are safe and clean for the public is crucial to the public health of the community. As part of its commitment to promoting a clean San Diego, the Institute of Health Law Studies partnered with San Diego park rangers to cleanup and restore the Palm Canyon in Presidio Park following damage from recent San Diego storms and winds.
With gloves on their hands, shovels, rakes and clippers, IHLS volunteers assisted San Diego Ranger Parish Rye,and worked tirelessly thoughout the day to clean up and dispose of fallen debris which have damaged the park since fall of last year. The group of volunteers was successful in filling up four large city dump trucks full of overgrown branches and debris for environmental disposal. By keeping San Diego parks clean, IHLS is commited to promoting public health and environmental stewardship for the benefit of the San Diego community. Presidio Park is well known in San Diego for its beauty and its scenary. The park offers over 50 acres nestled on a hill overlooking Mission Bay, San Diego Bay , Mission Valley and the Pacific Ocean..
IHLS Supports International Efforts to Prevent, Treat, Investigate, and Prosecute Child and Family Maltreatment
January 27, 2011. Ensuring that children and families are safe from maltreatment, including family violence, is a key component of ensuring public health and the promotion of justice and health equity for those most vulnerable. In support of these efforts, IHLS recently attended the 25th Annual San Diego International Conference on Child And Family Maltreatment held in San Diego, California and supported by the Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Rady Children's Hospital.
Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator remarked that the conference was, “an overwhelming event celebrating many years of caring for children who have experienced abuse and trauma all over the world.” Importantly the conference emphasizes the need to develop better awareness and the need for futher research in this area of need.
The conference brought together leading experts around the world to focus on the development of multi-discplinary efforts to prevent, treat, investigate, and prosecute child and family maltreatment. This included developing and enhancing professional skills and knowledge on all forms offamily violence while also exploring policy making options to enhance investigative and legal options to prosecute maltreatment. The conference was held at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center with more than 1900 participants from over 35 countries including: physicians, nurses, mental health professionals, law enforcement officers, child protection officials, prosecutors and many hospital auxiliary members.
Health Law Society and Institute of Health Law Studies Hosts First San Diego Blood Drive of 2011
January 27, 2011. As needy patients continue to require increasing supplies of blood and blood products, the Institute of Health Law Studies continues to support the San Diego Blood Bank in its efforts to collect blood donations which will save patient lives.
In its first blood drive of 2011, IHLS collaborated with the student led organization, the Health Law Society, to mobilize blood donation donors from the CWSL and the San Diego community. With the assistance of Pam Tait and student volunteers, the registration of 30 donors and the collection of 26 pints of blood was achieved with the potential to save 52 lives. This surpassed the collection goal set by the blood bank and represents the commitment of IHLS to serving patients and promoting their health and wellness. Through its participation in blood drives throughout the year, IHLS strives to make a difference in the community and provide lifesaving assistance to those in need.
Professor Bryan Liang Gives Grand Rounds on Patient Safety and Healthcare Reform at University of Texas Health Science Center
January 21, 2011. With the new year, new provisions and issues surrounding healthcare delivery have moved into place. Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies, California Western School of Law, and Director, San Diego Center for Patient Safety, UCSD School of Medicine, was asked to address the University of Texas Health Science Center on his thoughts on improving patient safety and quality under this legal rubric.
Dr. Liang indicated that nothing has changed with respect to the ethical and moral imperatives to improve health delivery systems and patient safety. But further, he emphasized that both the new healthcare reform law and recent research indicate we must continue these efforts. Both financial ramifications and clinical outcomes measures will continue to incentivize providers to improve quality and safety for the foreseeable future.
Dr. Liang’s presentation was entitled, “Patients, Safety, and Patient Safety Under Healthcare Reform.” He was invited to present his work by Tim Allen, MD, JD, Chair of the Department of Pathology, University of Texas Health Sciences Center.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Gives Presentation on Regulation of Off Label Promotion
January 20, 2011. Timothy Mackey, IHLS Senior Research Associate and UCSD-SDSU global health doctoral student gave a presentation on the current debate of off label prescribing and promotion of pharmaceuticals. He addressed the Health Law Joint Program Development Team which includes legal and medical professionals from California Western School of Law and UCSD School of Medicine.
The presentation discussed the current regulatory environment of off label prescribing and promotion, a practice which has resulted in record breaking civil and criminal settlements for health care fraud and abuse. Mr. Mackey also discussed the benefits and negative effects of off label promotion, current legal tools available to prosecute illegal off label marketing, and suggested potential policy proposals to increase access to at risk patients and better regulate off label promotion through a more robust regulatory framework.
Mr. Mackey's presentation was entitled, "Off Label, Off Limits?: Assessing the regulation, debate, enforcement, and potential policy considerations of off-label promotion."
Professor Bryan Liang Quoted in Daily Journal Story on US Supreme Court Case Reviewing County Challenges to Drug Pricing
January 18, 2011. Counties are challenging underdiscounted prices received from drug companies in the US Supreme Court. However, both drug companies and the Obama administration have stated any challenges to pricing must go through federal procedures rather than create federal common law. The Daily Journal asked Professor Bryan Liang on his perspective.
Dr. Liang noted that although there were important policy reasons for the county lawsuit, he indicated that the counties will face significant legal challenges in attempting to win their case. Counties will have to overcoming issues of federal preemption and earlier cases that held strongly the US constitution supremacy clause preclude these types of lawsuits, and that aggrieved parties must use the statutorily defined process.
The story is, "High Court to Hear Drug Pricing Case," by Emma Gallegos & Robert Iafolla, in the January 19, 2011 issue of the Daily Journal.
Professor Bryan Liang Interviewed by KCBS on CNN Healthcare Reform Poll
December 29, 2010. The healthcare reform bill has been the subject of much criticism. However, in a recent CNN poll, critics are not only conservative Republicans, but also liberal Democrats. KCBS interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on this development.
Dr. Liang noted that the combined conservative-liberal resistance to the healthcare reform bill is creating a political stream of potential bipartisan support for changing provisions of the bill. As well, the key individual health insurance mandate has also shown significantly increasing unpopularity, making it a potential base for bipartisan action. However, Dr. Liang also indicated that there may be a simple stalemate of any policy activity until 2012, since neither the House or Senate have veto-proof majorities and are led by opposing political parties.
Professor Liang was interviewed by KCBS News Anchor Holly Quan.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Publish Perspectives Piece on Pharmaceutical Marketing in Daily Journal
December 22, 2010. With multimillion and in some cases multibillion dollar judgments against drug companies and a more aggressive FDA, pharmaceutical marketing has come under tremendous scrutiny over the past year. The Daily Journal asked noted experts Professor Bryan Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey to comment on the past year and look into the future regarding drug marketing.
Dr. Liang and Mr. Mackey noted the tremendous tensions between appropriate pharmaceutical marketing and inappropriate off label promotion. They also note that with the healthcare reform provisions going into effect, more pharmaceutical marketing regulation will be forthcoming, including scrutiny of individual drug company officers. Finally, they note that other, important issues will be addressed this coming year, including the use of social media in drug advertisements, the challenge of follow-on biologics, and the laws addressing the safety concerns related to the globalization of the drug supply.
The Perspectives piece is "Pharmaceutical Marketing: A Year of Interesting Times," in the December 22, 2010, issue of the Daily Journal, at page 8.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Participates in Invitation-Only White House Summit on Counterfeit Drugs
December 14, 2010. Recently, the federal government has initiated key investigations on illegal online drug sellers and found an extensive and rapidly growing public health and economic concern. In response, the White House convened an invitation-only summit bringing together key industry, patient, law enforcement, and provider stakeholders together to strategize on efforts to combat it. Professor Bryan A. Liang was an invited participant and the only academic asked to attend.
Dr. Liang focused upon tailoring the consumer educational efforts of industry and government to the audiences they wish to reach with their patient safety message regarding the dangers of buying drugs online. Importantly, he noted that culturally competent content and forums must be employed, and a single message, on the basis of his work, will not adequately serve the needs of all patients. He also noted that physicians in particular need education on the issue as well.
The event was hosted by the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Office of the Executive, the White House. Signaling the importance of the event, the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel, Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Director of Homeland Security John Morton all were in attendance and gave their own remarks on the topic.
KCBS Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Insurance Premium Increases and Healthcare Reform
December 9, 2010. Health care insurers in the state of California have raised their rates by double digit amounts. However, they have also recently announced additional increases, blaming healthcare reform on the federal and state levels. KCBS asked Professor Bryan Liang for his comments.
Dr. Liang noted that many insurers were raising premiums, using reform provisions as justification of these increases. Yet, cautioned Dr. Liang, we have no real means of currently assessing whether these increases are “unreasonable” since definitions in the federal reform laws have not been released, and experience with new gender equality reforms on the state levels have not included justification measurements.
Dr. Liang was interviewed by Holly Quan, KCBS News reporter.
Daily Journal Article on Obesity Drug Review Quotes Executive Director Bryan Liang
December 9, 2010. With the FDA advisory committee recommendation of approval for the obesity drug Contrave, and earlier lap band review recommending expanded use, the landscape of obesity treatments and FDA potential approval has garnered significant attention. The Daily Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on this thoughts on these developments.
Dr. Liang indicated that the FDA appears much more comfortable with medical devices that treat obesity, which require surgery, compared with pharmaceuticals, with their longer use and cardiovascular impact. However, he noted that if Contrave is fully approved, it will be a blockbuster drug. Orexigen corporate management must take into account the regulatory environment and potential legal risks associated with this status.
The story is "First Diet Drug in Years Nears Approval," by Mandy Jackson in the December 9, 2010 issue of the Daily Journal.
IHLS and HLS Host Finals De-Stress Day at CWSL
December 7, 2010. During finals week, often stress plays havoc on student health. To address this issue, Massage Envy, a massage clinic, IHLS, and HLS coordinated a Finals De-Stress Day for the CWSL community.
The event was organized to provide neck and back massages to students, faculty and staff in order to alleviate stress during final exams at the law school. This event generated a tremendous interest among the CWSL community and more than 50 massages were provided.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang noted that “The effects of stress on immune system functioning and overall level of wellness have been studied and well-documented to reflect the need for stress management. We feel that the best way to keep the CWSL community healthy is to seek ways to promote preventative wellness. By hosting events such as this and other wellness events, IHLS hopes to maintain a healthy environment at the law school.”
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Gives Presentation on Negotiation Skills in Global Health
December 2, 2010. Timothy Mackey, IHLS Senior Research Associate and UCSD-SDSU global health doctoral student gave a presentation on negotiation and conflict resolutions skills and strategies in the context of global health issues. He addressed the global health, epidemiology, and health behavior program graduate classes of San Diego State University and UCSD students on these important professional skills.
The presentation highlighted the need for negotiation skills and strategies in global health settings such as multilateral negotiations, private-public transactions, and in the scope of health diplomacy. Strategies and skills included discussion on types of negotiations (distributive v. integrative), key concepts including BATNA, ZOPA, and setting a reservation price, steps to preparing and evaluation, table tactics, and skills in finalizing negotiations.
Mr. Mackey's presentation was entitled, "Negotiations in Global Health: Skills and Tactics in the Art of Negotiation and Influence."
IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Featured Speaker at Globalization of Drug Supply Webinar
November 30, 2010. A crucial issue for global health is the safety of the drug supply. But as globalization increases for sourcing and access, concomitant risks to safety have emerged. The Postgraduate Healthcare Education program asked IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang, who is also Director of the UCSD San Diego Center for Patient Safety, to provide insights on these risks for a national webinar audience of pharmacists and other healthcare providers.
Dr. Liang noted that critical supply chain issues have emerged, with parallel trade of pharmaceuticals across borders, illicit drug sourcing from countries such as China and India, and the Internet have combined to permit criminals to enter into and profit extensively off illicit, counterfeit, and substandard drug sales. Innocent patients and providers have been duped into buying these drugs and have been harmed. He called upon pharmacists and other providers to extensively educate their patients on the challenges of drug safety and particularly the risks of drug purchase over the Internet. He also called for more pharmacist leadership on promoting global access and “drug access diplomacy” as part of all international discussions.
Dr. Liang’s presentation was entitled, Globalization of the Drug Supply: Issues, Implications, and the Need for Advocacy, Education, and Safe Sourcing, November 30, 2010.
Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Gives Presentation on Direct-to-Consumer Advertising
November 23, 2010. Timothy Mackey, IHLS Senior Research Associate and UCSD-SDSU global health doctoral student, presented on the importance of direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) on global health, healthcare economics, pharmaceutical marketing regulation, and patient safety. He addressed the global health program graduate class of San Diego State University and UCSD students on this key topic.
The presentation discussed the global public health and economic impact of DTCA as well as emerging industry trends in this form of pharmaceutical marketing and promotion. Specifically, "eDTCA," which is comprised of DTCA on the Internet and DTCA which utilizes new and emerging interactive web technologies such as social media, has become a growing concern for regulators and policy makers.
Mr. Mackey's presentation was entitled, "eDTCA: The New Global Frontier in Pharmaceutical Marketing."
IHLS Member Shannon Biggs Publishes Opinion Piece on Tax Equity in Christian Science Monitor
November 19, 2010. The economic trials and tribulations around the world have put significant tensions on policymakers. This includes consideration of altering the definitions of poverty by geography. Yet a key issue that is not being addressed is the tax treatment disparities that do not take into account cost of living variation by geography. Institute Member Shannon Biggs confronts this topic head on in an Opinion piece in the Christian Science Monitor.
In the piece, Ms. Biggs points to studies and analysis showing the markedly different purchasing power across the United States. She then compares Manhattan and Indiana, and finds that earners in Manhattan have the highest tax burdens in the USA. In fact, identical family incomes in Indiana compared with Manhattan result in Indiana families having greater than 10 times the monthly discretionary income as Manhattan dwellers, and less than 1/4 of the tax burden. Consequently, Ms. Biggs calls for a revamping of family income tax treatment based on geographic differences.
The Opinion piece is “Why taxes should be adjusted for geographic cost of living,” in the November 19, 2010 edition of the Christian Science Monitor.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Assists Faith-Based Community Service Organization
November 17, 2010. As part of IHLS’ dedication to community service, Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey has joined the International Christian Church of San Diego (ICCSD) as its Secretary and Chief Financial Officer. In these roles, Mr. Mackey will perform ongoing organizational analysis of its financial budget, charitable contributions, risk management issues, operational issues, and updates regarding the current legal and economic environment for non-profit organizations.
Mr. Mackey recently participated in an ICCSD board meeting in his new role. ICCSD is a California 501(c)(3) non-profit religious corporation in San Diego that serves the international community including students, residents and families.
Professor Bryan A. Liang and Senior Research Associate Tim Mackey Publish Inside Higher Ed Views Piece on College Health Plan Waivers
November 17, 2010. With debate on potential waiver of healthcare reform mandates for college health insurance plans heating up, stakeholders have been presenting their perspectives. In a response to a Views piece by the American Council on Education (ACE), a trade group for universities that favors waivers, Professor Bryan Liang and Tim Mackey authored a point-by-point and legal response that countered the arguments presented by ACE. They also outlined the results of investigations that found that schools exclude private insurance coverage for campus services while typically offering their own poor quality, low service level plans that are highly profitable for them. Professor Liang and Mr. Mackey called for a denial of waivers for these school plans to bring them into compliance with health reform mandates.
The piece is "Health Care Mandates: A Reply," in the November 17, 2010 issue of Inside Higher Ed.
Professor Bryan Liang Quoted in St. Louis Beacon Article on University Health Insurance Waiver Attempts
November 16, 2010. The increased scrutiny of waiver of health reform requirements has extended to school-sponsored health insurance plans. The St. Louis Beacon interviewed Professor Bryan Liang, a noted expert on student health, for his perspective.
Professor Liang indicated that although university and other stakeholders have pressed for exemptions, constituent groups such as the College Parents of America and the Young Invincibles oppose waivers of key quality and access provisions. In addition, Dr. Liang also pointed to investigations by the NY Attorney General as well as his own research that found these plans generally spend little on healthcare, have high profits, and are poor quality plans. He called on the White House to refuse waiver requests for the benefit of students and parents.
The article is "Should school-sponsored health plans be exempt from health-care reform?" by Nate Peterson in the November 16, 2010 issue of the St. Louis Beacon.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Assists Homeless at First Presbyterian Church of San Diego
November 14, 2010. As part of IHLS’ continuing community service efforts, Senior Research Associate, Timothy Mackey assisted in First Presbyterian Church of San Diego's Ladle Ministry serving the homeless and other people in need in downtown San Diego. The Ladle ministry is part of a faith-based organization, which serves the homeless with hot meals and also helps low-income seniors with food bags twice a month.
Mr. Mackey greeted the homeless, helped prepare and distribute soup, and helped in the setup and cleanup for this Sunday afternoon's ministry. The event served over 200 persons in need and provided everyone with a hot meal and also other services including distribution of clothes and personal items.
Dr. Bryan Liang, IHLS Executive Director, indicated that "Mr. Tim Mackey is a unique asset to us here at IHLS as well as in San Diego: he is interesting and interested in the world around him, and believes in an active, community service role." Dr. Liang added that "Tim’s work on behalf of IHLS in research, advocacy, and community service, is exemplary for all of us. We are very fortunate to have him help promote our efforts."
PTSD and Disability Access Paper by IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang and Research Associate Mark Boyd Makes Several Top Ten Lists
November 10, 2010. IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang and Research Associate Mark Boyd's paper, "PTSD in Returning Wounded Warriors: Ensuring Medically Appropriate Evaluation and Legal Representation Through Legislative Reform," forthcoming in the Stanford Law & Policy Review, has attracted significant attention. The paper has been listed as a Top Ten Downloaded Paper in the Social Science Research Network and the Health Economics Network in eight separate categories: the Social Science Research Network, Demand & Supply in Health Economics eJournal; Health Economics Network: Consumer Behavior; Health Economics Network: Disparities; Health Economics Network: Equity/Inequalities; Health Economics Network: Ethics; Health Economics Network: Prevention; Health Economics Network: Public Health; and Health Economics Network: Risk-Adjustment & Case-Mix The challenges for returning wounded warriors with post-traumatic stress disorder requires attention as more of these veterans enter the health care system.
“Once again, we are gratified that our work is of interest to the broader academic and policymaking community,” said Professor Liang, whose work has appeared in many Top Ten Downloaded lists in the past. “We hope that our thoughts and proposals may be able to improve and increase the quality and number of veterans who can obtain appropriate PTSD treatment access after their sacrifice for this country,” added Dr. Liang.
The article examines the growing issue of returning wounded warriors with post-traumatic stress disorder, and current policy that precludes use of attorney assistance or the veteran’s own physician in evaluation. Dr. Liang and Mr. Boyd propose a comprehensive legislative policy solution to address these concerns.
Dr. Bryan Liang Gives Law and Medicine Presentation to UCSD School of Medicine
November 9, 2010. The increasing interaction between medical practice and the law is of great interest to medical practitioners as well as administration and policymakers. Professor Bryan Liang, a physician and lawyer who sits on faculties of California Western School of Law and UCSD School of Medicine, provided an insightful overview of the interaction.
Dr. Liang noted that "law is intimately involved with medicine. From negligence issues to conflict of interest to end-of-life issues, the 'rules of engagement' must be understood so that physicians and other providers can fully advocate for the patient."
Dr. Liang’s presentation was entitled, "Law, Medicine, and Practice: Governing Clinical and Financial Relationships in Health Care." He was invited to speak by Dr. Rusty Kallenberg, Chief of the Division of Family Medicine at UCSD School of Medicine.
Professor Bryan Liang Quoted on Lawsuit Awarding Kaiser Permanente Health Plan Damages for Off Label Marketing
November 9, 2010. The scrutiny of drug companies for off label promotion has made significant press. Yet the initiators of these lawsuits are often public payers. However, in a potential new trend, the private health plan Kaiser Permanente was successful in federal court in obtaining damages against Pfizer for fraudulent off label marketing of its drugs that caused Kaiser damages. The Daily Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on this case.
Dr. Liang noted that it was inevitable that private health plans would follow government leads in attempting to recoup losses from drug companies associated with off label marketing. Dr. Liang noted that unfettered off label marketing can cause public health concerns due to limited testing and lack of adverse drug profile data.
The story is "Health Plans Lead Attack on Drug Makers," by Emma Gallegos in the November 9, 2010 issue of the Daily Journal.
Dr. Bryan A. Liang Gives Patient Safety and Aviation Presentation at St. Anthony Medical Center’s 35th Annual Memorial Lecture
November 3, 2010. The critical nature of patient safety since the Institute of Medicine’s groundbreaking “To Err Is Human” report has garnered significant attention and effort over the past decade. Aviation has addressed key, similar safety issues, and hence lessons learned there may be applicable to medical care. Dr. Bryan A. Liang, Shapiro Distinguished Professor of Health Law and Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies at California Western School of Law, and Professor of Anesthesiology and Director of the San Diego Center for Patient Safety, University of California San Diego School of Medicine, took on this topic at the 35th Annual Memorial Lecture, St. Anthony’s Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
“Aviation and medicine have much in common; they are highly complex systems with extremely talented people engaged in human service,” said Dr. Liang, who is also a pilot. “Aviation, however, has had greater opportunities to focus on safety, and have developed tools over the past 5 decades that can help us in medicine.”
Dr. Liang outlined the “six pack plus 1” set of low tech tools that can be applied to safety activities in medicine. However, he also addressed the need to integrate disclosure of medical errors in all systems approaches. “Although many of us are very familiar with the science of root cause analysis of medical accidents, unfortunately, the more difficult task of disclosing errors is an area that does not have equivalent attention. Yet this is the very area that patients and families need the most support and respect as part of the safety team,” he noted. Dr. Liang outlined a system of medical error disclosure that may be beneficial to improving system safety, while also addressing patient needs and creation of an institutional memory for approaches to error disclosure.
Finally, Dr. Liang touched upon health care reform, and noted that there will be many mandates for safety and quality activities. He stated that “Although many of the specific provisions need to be worked out, health care reform mandates will begin as early as next year. These include a focus on patient safety, patient experience, outcomes, and financial penalties for those providers who do not reach defined safety and quality goals.”
Dr. Liang was asked to speak by Dr. David Dobmeyer and Dr. Robert Griesbaum, medical staff leaders at St. Anthony’s Medical Center. The Memorial Lecture is a premier lectureship supported by the St. Anthony’s Medical Education Endowment Fund, and brings nationally recognized medical experts to St. Anthony’s to ensure the availability of the highest level of educational resources for its medical staff.
Professor Bryan Liang Gives Patient Safety Presentation to UCSD School of Medicine Students
November 2, 2010. Professor Bryan Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies, as well as Professor of Anesthesiology and Director of the San Diego Center for Patient Safety at UCSD, presented on the importance of patient safety activities for future physicians. He addressed the Class of 2012 UCSD School of Medicine students on this key topic.
"Patient safety is not an option, nor is it an issue that we consider as part of a “curve” of outcomes," stated Dr. Liang. "Safety is no accident; we must ensure that we understand the theory and means to achieve zero tolerance for errors and system weaknesses that lead to patient injury."
Dr. Liang was invited to give the presentation by Dr. Gene Kallenberg, Chief of Family Medicine at UCSD. His presentation was entitled, "Patient Safety: A Look at Theory, Tools, and Mandates."
Professor Bryan Liang Gives Global Drug Supply Chain Presentation to University of California San Diego Global Health Program
October 26, 2010. The challenges of globalization of the drug supply chain and patient safety have emerged as some of the most difficult to address worldwide. Professor Bryan Liang, a physician, policy expert, and attorney was asked by UCSD Global Health program to discuss these important concerns.
Dr. Liang provided information on key weaknesses in the global supply chain. He noted that even in the most robust drug regulatory systems around the world, parallel trade, the Internet, and criminal networks are infiltrating the formerly safe supply chains. These problems are significantly exacerbated in the developing world.
Dr. Liang’s presentation was entitled, “Globalization of the Drug Supply: Counterfeit Drugs and Safety Challenges.” He was asked to present by Dr. Eric Jamison, in the Case Studies in Global Health series.
Guest Speaker Robin Samit, Esq. Gives Health Law Presentation to Health Law Society
October 19, 2010. The Health Law Society hosted their monthly meeting with guest speaker Robin Samit, Esq., a 2001 California Western School of Law Alumni. Ms. Samit is Director of Business Contracting with University of California San Diego and Co-Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association Law & Medicine Committee. She presented on career opportunities available to law students once they graduate. The event was well attended with many student questions on the transition from law school to the professional circuit.
HLS and IHLS Participates in Kids’ News Day for the Benefit of Rady Children’s Hospital
October 19, 2010. As part of IHLS’ continuing community service efforts, IHLS and HLS participated in the Kids’ News Day fundraiser in collaboration with the San Diego Union Tribune to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital. Despite the rainy and dark day, IHLS picked up papers at the local distribution center at 6:00 am and set out with umbrellas to sell them on the street corners in front of California Western School of Law in downtown San Diego.
With freshly printed papers in one hand and an umbrella in the other, Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator, and several HLS students sold these papers for $1 each. This is an annual event that is held with a special edition of the Union Tribune that features medical advances and services Rady Children’s Hospital offers in San Diego. IHLS and HLS have participated for 3 years in this fundraising event.
IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait Supports California Western School of Law Annual Giving Campaign
October 18, 2010. Each year California Western School of Law hosts an annual giving campaign from their employees that supports developmental programs for the school. This year, Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator was asked to speak about the importance of giving and why.
During her presentation, Ms. Tait expressed the importance and privilege it is for one to have the opportunity to give back to the school and community. She provided a quote from Winston Churchill: "You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give."
Ms. Tait leads many of the CWSL and IHLS community service efforts. She has received multiple community service awards for her commitment to assisting the underserved.
IHLS and HLS Hold Blood Drive for San Diego Blood Bank
October, 14, 2010. The Institute of Health Law Studies and the student Health Law Society of California Western School of Law held their third blood drive this year. With the assistance of six student volunteers and Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator, IHLS/HLS efforts were successful in registering 28 donors and collecting 25 pints of blood with the potential to save 51 lives. The goal was 22 and once again IHLS and HLS were able to surpass this collection level.
These regularly scheduled blood drives ensure patients access to life-saving blood and blood products for the entire San Diego Community. IHLS and HLS have consistently held blood drives for the San Diego Blood Bank, and have reached both the highest recognized level of donations (Life Level Four) as well as have been featured in San Diego Blood Bank media campaigns.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang Quoted in Los Angeles Times Story on Anna Nicole Smith Trial
October 11, 2010. The trial of Anna Nicole Smith’s physicians has raised deeper issues of how physicians interact with celebrities and how they should be held accountable in cases such as Smith's where death due to prescribed drugs results. The Los Angeles Times interviewed IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang, who is also a physician and faculty member at UCSD School of Medicine, for his unique perspective.
Dr. Liang indicated that the case is being closely watched by physicians because of the criminal nature of the potential penalties for Anna Nicole Smith's doctors. He noted that accountability for physicians is usually through the civil malpractice system, rather than the criminal justice system. He also said that the physicians will be subject to more intense scrutiny in the event of any celebrity death because celebrities and their entourage are constantly in the public eye.
The story is "Both sides focus on Anna Nicole Smith’s fame in drug trial's closing arguments," by Victoria Kim in the October 11, 2010 issue of the Los Angeles Times.
Professor Bryan Liang Participates in Counterfeit Drugs Panel Discussion at Partnership for Safe Medicines Interchange Meeting
October 8, 2010. The growing threat and recognition of counterfeit drugs has begun to attract attention from public and private groups. The Partnership for Safe Medicines Interchange 2010 covered this important topic, attracting key leaders from around the world.
Included in the event was a session on “Who’s Benefiting from Counterfeit Drugs?” led by Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang. He was jointed by Nancy Kennedy, Special Agent and Senior Operations Manager of Drug Operations, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, Robert Hill, Chief, Pharmaceutical Investigations Section, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration, Charles Cichon, Executive Director, National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators and Program Director, National Precursor Log Exchange, and Jeffrey Gren, Director, Office of Health and Consumer Goods, U.S Department of Commerce.
Other presentations included Rick Roberts, a victim of counterfeit drugs, Walt Bogdanich, investigative reporter, New York Times and Pulitzer Prize Winner for his series “A Toxic Pipeline” that tracked dangerous and poisonous pharmaceutical ingredients from China, Tom Kubic, President and CEO, Pharmaceutical Security Institute and former FBI Senior Executive, John Gray, President and CEO of the Healthcare Distribution Management Association, and Richard Halverson, Chief, Outreach and Training, U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement Unit at the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center.
The event featured the plenary presentation by FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.
The importance of the Interchange was underscored by the coverage it received. The event was shown live on CPSAN. In addition, media outlets including NPR, Bloomberg Press, 60 Minutes, FDANews, New York Times, American Journal of Health-Systems Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Executive, and others were in attendance. Finally, a broad range of policymakers participated, including the Office of the White House, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. FDA, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Pharmacopeia, Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President, as well as provider, patient, and private sector groups.
Daily Journal Story on Obesity Drug Review Quotes Professor Bryan A. Liang
October 7, 2010. With the recent reports of cardiovascular risks with obesity drugs, tremendous focus has been placed upon FDA regulation and review of potential pharmaceutical treatments in this area. The Daily Journal asked Professor Bryan Liang for his perspective.
Professor Liang, who is both a law professor at California Western School of Law and a medical school professor at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, noted that the issue of obesity drug review is particularly apt for California companies, as several are competing for FDA approval. He noted that the FDA scrutiny of these drugs and their side effects is increasing, and the fen-phen debacle has in particular made the FDA concerned about cardiovascular issues. Dr. Liang also noted that corporate agents must be aware of the changing regulatory focus of the FDA as a part of their duties, and must act to take these changes into account for the benefit of their shareholders.
The story is "Race to Own Diet Drug Market Heats Up" by Mandy Jackson in the October 7, 2010 issue of the Daily Journal.
IHLS Participates in the 4th Annual Rady Children’s Hospital Shamu & You Family Walk
October 2, 2010. With a strong team of student members from the Health Law Society led by Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator, IHLS “took strides” to raise almost $450 for the annual Rady Children’s Hospital Shamu & You Walk.
The Shamu & You event was well attended, with over 3,400 participants. The IHLS “Whale Walkers” enjoyed the day walking through the San Diego Sea World Park with many patient families and friends from Rady Children’s Hospital. All proceeds from the event assist sick children in the San Diego community.
This is an annual community service event for IHLS and provides CWSL students and faculty an opportunity to give back to their community. Pam Tait has led the walk each year for the IHLS team.
IHLS Research Associate Erin Minelli and Professor Bryan Liang’s Paper on Organ Transplantation and Substance Abuse Makes Multiple Top Ten Lists
September 29, 2010. IHLS Research Associate Erin Minelli and IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang’s paper, "Transplant Candidates and Substance Use: Adopting Rational Health Policy for Resource Allocation," forthcoming in the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN JOURNAL OF LAW REFORM has made the Top 10 downloaded paper lists in multiple categories in the Social Science Research Network series as well as the Health Economics Nework series. These include the Social Science Research Network Demand & Supply in Health Economics eJournal; Health Economics Network: Doctors; Health Economics Network: Ethics; Health Economics Network: Hospitals; Health Economics Network: Non-Profit Organization; and Health Economics Network: Regulation.
"We are fortunate once again to make the SSRN and HEN Top Ten Lists for our work in health policy" said Professor Liang. "SSRN and HEN are two of the largest disseminated research networks in the world, and we are delighted that the work at IHLS is useful for academics, policymakers, and other interested scholars and individuals."
Inside Higher Ed Story on School Health Plans Features Comments by Professor Bryan Liang
September 27, 2010. There is increasing policymaker attention to the plight of university students and their access to health insurance on campus. Inside Higher Ed interviewed Professor Bryan Liang to discuss his perspective on the topic.
Professor Liang noted that there is, and has been, little regulation of college and university sponsored health plans, allowing a patchwork of poor coverage plans that are highly profitable for schools and insurers. Yet with healthcare reform, basic standards for preventive care coverage, medical loss ratios, and coverage levels are mandated. However, college and university sponsored plans seek exemptions from these requirements. Professor Liang urged that these plans not be given such exemptions, as his own work as well as a 2008 Government Accountability Study found these plans are amongst the worst for consumers both in terms of coverage as well as cost.
The story is “A Future for Student Health Plans?” by Jennifer Epstein in the September 27, 2010 issue of Inside Higher Ed. Professor Liang’s study on the topic is “Crisis on Campus: Student Access to Healthcare,” recently published in volume 43, number 3, 2010 in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform.
Wall Street Journal Article on School Health Plans Features Comments by Professor Bryan A. Liang
September 24, 2010. The heated debate as to whether school-sponsored health plans are subject to health care reform mandates has increased as implementation of the new reform law has begun. The Wall Street Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang for his insights.
Dr. Liang, a noted expert on the topic of college and university health insurance, noted that efforts by these school plans to avoid the mandates of health care reform have tremendous implications for students, since these plans are notoriously poor in coverage and cost-sharing. He urged that federal regulators mandate their inclusion in reform requirements rather than the exemptions they seek.
The story is “How College Health Plans Are Failing Students,” by Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Mary Pilon, in the September 24, 2010 issue of the Wall Street Journal.
Reuters Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang on Healthcare Reform and Student Health
September 22, 2010. As the school year unfolds and healthcare reform provisions go into effect September 23, 2010, questions regarding its impact on student health insurance have been raised. Reuters asked Professor Bryan Liang for his perspective.
Professor Liang noted that although much has been made of access to parental health insurance plans until students are age 26 and limited lifetime insurance limits, students have been left unprotected because often, schools reject private and public insurance on campus. Hence, students and families must pay several times for healthcare, and take generally poor service level plans offered by schools that do not fulfill federal requirements. He called for regulatory attention to this issue to ensure students are covered by health insurance reform provisions.
The story is "Health reform: Will your kids be covered?" on the Reuters Newswire, September 22, 2010.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey Speaks at 2010 CUGH Annual Meeting
September 21, 2010. Assessing critical global health issues within the current constraints of Global Health Governance and Health Diplomacy requires the use of sound policy making science in order to ensure that disasters and foreign policy blunders are avoided. However, often policymakers and key stakeholders involved in global health emergencies, such as the global pandemic of SARS, do not utilize the tools available to them which endangers the global public health.
IHLS Senior Research Associate Timothy Mackey spoke at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health 2010 Annual Meeting, presenting research conducted with Professor Bryan Liang highlighting the need to integrate policy making science in assessment and decision making in health diplomacy. The presentation examines the case study of international relations between Taiwan, China and the World Health Organization during the SARS outbreak of 2003. It notes that a simple policy making assessment may have lead to alternative solutions and saved lives. The results of this research will also be published in a book examining case studies in health diplomacy to be published in 2011.
Timothy Mackey's presentation was entitled, "Preparing for Health Diplomacy Negotiations in Global Governance - The Failed Case of Taiwan, WHO, and SARS." Mr. Mackey is also in the Joint Doctoral Program on Global Health, University of California San Diego School of Medicine-San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health.
IHLS Coordinates Flu Vaccine Clinic on Campus
September 14, 2010. IHLS coordinated with California Western School of Law and Pacifica Medical to administer the combined H1N1/Flu Vaccine this year. The participation exceeded the projected total by 30 additional participants.
Dr. Bryan Liang, IHLS Executive Director as well as University of California San Diego Professor of Anesthesiology and Director of the San Diego Center for Patient Safety, noted that "access to vaccination and high rates of vaccination save lives and resources." He added that "in particular, students are key constituents that must be vaccinated to ensure they are healthy to learn most effectively. The vaccination clinic makes it convenient to promote this public health activity."
IHLS has led campus flu clinics previously, including last year during the H1N1 epidemic. Through IHLS, students, staff, and faculty were provided with one of the earliest opportunities to be vaccinated against seasonal flu as well as the H1N1 virus strains that caused the worldwide epidemic last year.
Professor Bryan Liang Quoted in USA Today Story on Growing Harms Associated with Fake Drugs
September 13, 2010. As the economy slows down and the Internet allows for unfettered medication purchases without a prescription, the fake drug market continues to grow. USA Today interviewed Professor Bryan Liang, IHLS Executive Director and San Diego Center for Patient Safety co-director, for his perspective.
Dr. Liang noted that 50% or more of drugs purchased on the Internet are fake according to the World Health Organization, as are large fractions of drugs from other non-traditional sources such as night markets. He indicated that the explosion of the Internet and the introduction of Viagra, Pfizer’s blockbuster erectile dysfunction drug, fueled the counterfeit drug industry. It now represents upwards of $75-200 billion in sales annually, and extends from lifestyle drugs to life saving drugs. Dr. Liang warned that these developments represent a significant patient safety issue that physicians and patients must be aware because they represent the last barriers to harm.
The story is "Growing problem of fake drugs endangers consumers' health," by Kathy Chu in the September 13, 2010 issue of USA Today.
IHLS Assists Rady Children's Hospital Members-At-Large Auxiliary Host Yoga for Hope Event
September 12, 2010. The mind-body interface has been a focus of recent cutting edge research, showing a tremendous benefit from broader healthcare treatment approaches. This includes the use of yoga and sound therapy. The Rady Children's Hospital Members-At-Large Auxiliary sponsored a health event focusing on these areas.
As members of this auxiliary unit, IHLS assisted with the "Yoga for Hope" event, which was hosted at The La Jolla Yoga Center. Music was provided by Richard Learmont, a sound therapist. IHLS volunteers provided setup assistance and support while donations resulted in $700 for the event. All proceeds go to the Integrative Medicine department for Rady Children's Hospital and the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
KCBS Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on New Report Showing Higher Costs Due to Healthcare Reform
September 9, 2010. The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary released a report indicating that healthcare reform legislation will increase costs to consumers over the next 10 years. KCBS interviewed Professor Bryan Liang to comment on the findings of the report.
Professor Liang noted that the report confirms what most observers believed would be true: that healthcare reform will cost more and not reduce the deficit nor reduce overall healthcare spending. Dr. Liang also pointed out, however, that even these estimates are probably low because of questionable assumptions used by the actuaries. He added that this report may figure prominently in debates and campaigning in November’s midterm elections, with a comparison of cost claims and potential increased coverage of the population.
Professor Liang was interviewed by Anchors Rebecca Corral and Melissa Culross of the KCBS Newsroom.
Professor Bryan Liang Interviewed on Health Reform Effects on Students by US News & World Report
September 9, 2010. With healthcare reform mandates beginning on September 23, 2010, key concerns regarding its impact on students and their healthcare have emerged. US News & World Report interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on how healthcare reform will affect college students.
Professor Liang indicated that allowing the use of parental insurance until 26 will benefit many students, particularly in urban areas with a large supply of healthcare providers. The ability to access parental health insurance is key because 2/3 to 3/4 of students are covered under parental private insurance. He warned, however, that some campuses do not take standard health insurance, and students on these campuses will pay significant out-of-pocket costs. He also notes that healthcare reform requirements may push the generally poor quality school-sponsored plans to acceptable levels of service coverage akin to commercial plans. As well, Professor Liang observed that it is likely that if students must use school-based plans, healthcare reform requirements will likely require they spend the statutorily required amount on health care services, rather than the significantly lower amounts traditionally spent by such plans.
The story is "5 Ways Health Reform Affects College Students," by Brian Bursed, in the September 9, 2010 issue of the US News & World Report.
US News & World Report Quotes Professor Bryan A. Liang on Healthcare Reform and Student Health Insurance
September 9, 2010. Several aspects of the new healthcare reform law are slated to go into effect as the school years starts. Yet healthcare reform may have left a large group outside its mandates: higher education students. US News & World Report interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on this issue.
Professor Liang, who has done extensive research on health insurance and the uninsured, noted that students are often left out of health insurance mandates. Indeed, he notes that although many students actually have health insurance, their coverage is rejected on campus. These previously insured individuals become functionally uninsured on campus, and have the same issues with access and prevention issues as well as high risk behavior as the typically uninsured. He called for attention to this major concern.
The story is "Despite Healthcare Reform, Problems Still Linger on Campus: You may arrive on campus fully insured, but learn how that might not matter if you get sick," by Brian Burnsed, in the September 9, 2010 issue of the US News & World Report.
KPBS Interviews Executive Director Bryan Liang on California Insurer Rate Increases
September 8, 2010. The California Department of Insurance recently approved yet another set of rate increases for individual health insurance policyholders. The most recent is a 16-24% increase by HealthNet. KPBS asked IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang for his reaction.
Professor Liang, a well known expert on health insurance, noted that the most recent rate increases follow rate hike approvals for Anthem Blue Cross as well as Blue Shield, impacting more than a million policyholders. He observed that the state only reviewed whether the insurers fulfilled their obligation to spend 70% of the premium, or the "medical loss ratio," on health care services. He also pointed out that this state approval is problematic with regard to federal health care reform, which requires an 80-85% medical loss ratio for plans. In addition, Dr. Liang noted that "excessive" rate increases are not permitted. However, both calculation of the medical loss ratio and excessive rate increases still require definitions, which must be implemented by federal regulation. He said that for individual policyholders in California, at the present time, little has changed.
Professor Liang was interviewed by Kenny Goldberg, health reporter for KPBS.
Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary Host Private Tour and Reception of the New Acute Care Pavilion
September 1, 2010. As members of the Members-At-Large Auxiliary Group, IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang and Program Administrator Pam Tait were invited to join in the festivities for the ribbon cutting of the new Rady Children’s Hospital Acute Care Pavilion and Gardens.
The evening highlighted the ribbon cutting of the new facility and honored charitable donors and the artists who designed the gardens and building. It was an extremely worthwhile evening as IHLS volunteers also assisted with group tours and guidance throughout the new facility.
Patients will be moved into the facility on October 10, 2010.
Professor Bryan Liang Quoted in Daily Journal Story on $600 Million Allergan Settlement
September 7, 2010. In a closely watched case, Allergan, Inc. has settled with the US Department of Justice for illegal off-label promotion of its blockbuster drug Botox. The $600 million dollar settlement is one of the largest in US history. The Daily Journal asked Professor Bryan Liang about its ramifications.
First, Dr. Liang noted that a $600 million settlement is dwarfed by the $1.3 billion in annual Botox sales that the company receives, and hence the disincentives by the settlement for off label marketing may not be effective. Second, he also noted that the settlement also resulted in Allergan dropping its suit against the government, in which Allergan had claimed its commercial First Amendment rights were being infringed by limits on off label marketing. This latter action continues the uncertainty as to the limits of off label promotion.
The story is "Allergan's Botox Settlement Bodes Ill," by Mandy Jackson on page 4 of the September 7, 2010 issue of the Daily Journal.
Professor Bryan Liang Presents on Litigation in Ischemic Stroke at International Conference
August 27, 2010. The graying of the world’s population has tremendous implications for disease states that increase as a society ages. One key area of importance is ischemic stroke. However, most patients do not receive a drug—tissue plasminogen activator—that could avoid much of the morbidity associated with a stroke because physicians believe the side effects of the drug may result in greater liability than any harm associated with stroke.
However, Professor Bryan Liang, at the International Fibrinolysis and Proteolysis 20th Annual Meeting, provided results showing that physician beliefs are “legal mythology.” He noted that, in fact, most litigation associated with stroke is due to a failure to provide the drug, rather than any side effects with its use. Importantly, Dr. Liang analysis trial court and settlement, not merely published legal opinions to make his assessments. Dr. Liang indicated that there are challenges with informed consent, malpractice, and other causes of action that may result if physicians do not correct their perspectives on the issue.
Dr. Liang’s presentation was entitled, “Fibrinolysis and legal mythology: The demographics of tPA-stroke litigation.”
Dr. Bryan Liang Comments on Bloodless Medical Care in San Diego Union Tribune Article
August 25, 2010. With both patients who for religious reasons wish to avoid blood as well as safety concerns, there are hospitals that are now offering “bloodless” medical care. The San Diego Union Tribune asked Professor Bryan A. Liang, IHLS Executive Director as well as a former blood bank director to comment.
Professor Liang noted that bloodless surgery and treatment for members of religious groups such as Jehovah's Witnesses has long been present in medical care. However, he pointed out that in some cases, such as for children, the state may enter and require blood transfusions even against parental wishes, particularly if it is to save the child's life. He indicated that this legal exception is a public policy to protect the vulnerable in society.
The story is “"Bloodless" medical care offered,” by Janette Lavell in the August 25, 2010 issue of the San Diego Union Tribune.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Quoted in MSNBC/Kaiser News Network Story on College Health and Health Reform Law
August 21, 2010. The poor coverage, high profit plans that plague the higher education system as found through independent study by the Government Accountability Office, Business Week, The Access Project, as well as IHLS and others, continue to be a source of debate as to whether they are subject to health reform mandates. In an MSNBC/Kaiser News Network story, Professor Bryan Liang, IHLS Executive Director, was interviewed for his analysis.
Dr. Liang, both a physician and an attorney, noted that under traditional statutory construction rules, any possible exemption that might have applied before the healthcare reform law was passed is subject to the terms and definitions of the current law. Hence, these higher education programs are covered and subject to basic reform requirements. Further, even if they are not, they are subject to state laws, which may require licensure to sell or broker insurance sales, as well as not last more than 6 months in some cases. These terms and conditions have not been fulfilled for many of these plans.
Overall, Professor Liang indicated that school-based insurance should be required to come up to the standards outlined by the health reform bill. Otherwise, a system of inadequate health insurance protections will be maintained for student health in the US.
USA Today Story on College Health Insurance Quotes Professor Bryan Liang
August 20, 2010. As students prepare for going back to school, a key issue of choosing health care insurance in light of health care reform has come to the forefront. USA Today interviewed Professor Bryan A. Liang on the topic.
Professor Liang indicated that students and their families should assess plan coverage, and more importantly, any limits associated with plans offered by schools. Many of these plans are 'bare boned.' Instead, a preferable alternative is for a student to stay on their parents’ employer-sponsored health plan because generally these plans are more comprehensive, and the health care reform law mandates insurers to extend coverage to dependents under 26.
The story is "A lesson in health insurance for college students," by Sandra Block, in the August 20, 2010 issue of USA Today.
IHLS Volunteers Support the 7th Annual Dale Donnelly Memorial Golf Tournament
August, 19, 2010. As part of IHLS continuing community service activities, IHLS volunteers assisted in supporting the 7th Annual Dale Donnelly Memorial Golf Tournament in San Diego, CA. More than 130 players checked in to participate in a day of charity golf.
IHLS volunteers registered teams for the tournament and handed out charity event materials to every player. This was also the biggest year for sponsorship for military personnel, with greater than 20 players from the military participating in the event. All proceeds from the tournament went to assist the Rady Children’s Hospital Cancer Care Center. IHLS, in combination with other participants, have raised over $100,000 in the past seven years.
IHLS Assists with CWSL Registration of New Fall 2010 Class
August, 18, 2010. California Western School of Law began the new year, welcoming a new class of law students. The new Fall 2010 Class is more 300 new students this year.
The enthusiasm of the fresh new faces was very high with an enormous amount of materials to be handed out. IHLS assisted CWSL admissions with welcoming its new arrivals and aiding in the registration process.
IHLS is a Center of Excellence at CWSL, and offers health law and policy research, advocacy, community service, and educational opportunities for students at all levels.
Executive Director Bryan Liang Interviewed by KCBS on Economy and Healthcare Use
August 17, 2010. The National Bureau of Economic Research released a study showing that due to the economic downturn, US patients significantly reduced spending on their routine medical care compared with Canada, France, and Germany. KCBS interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the NBER study implications.
Professor Liang noted that the results are unsurprising, given that the comparison countries all have national health insurance systems. As well, he noted that the key implication for the US is that with the current premium to pay ratio resulting in more that 1/4 of respondents self-rationing healthcare use, "things will get worse before they get better because salaries will stay low while healthcare costs will increase during this economic crisis."
Professor Liang was interviewed by the KCBS News Team.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Comments on Ischemic Stroke Guidelines
August 13, 2010. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services have been implementing key guidelines for quality and safety purposes. It has solicited comments on inputs to be included in evaluation guidelines in ischemic stroke that may be used for future health reform quality incentive systems.
Professor Bryan A. Liang provided comments directly on these important set of measures. Based on his work with collaborator Justin A. Zivin, MD, PhD at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, Professor Liang provided information to CMS on both the American Stroke Association “Get with the Guidelines” program as well as a detailed scientific review of the use of tissue plasminogen activator. The review was based on a recent paper by Drs. Liang and Zivin published in the Archives of Neurology, entitled “Review of Tissue Plasminogen Activator, Ischemic Stroke, and Potential Legal Issues.”
Dr. Liang noted that because stroke is the third most common killer worldwide, and second if cancers are not aggregated, it is key to ensure that adequate measures are created for this disease state to ensure hospitals and physicians are providing optimal care. In addition, Dr. Liang indicated that since age is a key predictor of stroke, as the population ages, there will be a greater ischemic stroke presentation to hospitals in the future. Hence, both providers and payers will need to be ready for this eventuality.
IHLS Welcomes New MAS Health Law Class
August 9, 2010. The Institute of Health Law Studies welcomed the 4th Masters in Advanced Study Health Law class to campus. IHLS works with University of California, San Diego to administer the MAS Program.
The MAS program in Health Law is a Joint California Western School of Law—University of California, San Diego program aimed to provide interdisciplinary training in health law and policy using the unique resources of both schools. The program has placed graduates in leading healthcare positions and responsibilities, and provides for important opportunities to write and publish in the health law and policy arena.
Professor Bryan A. Liang, IHLS Executive Director, also serves as director of the joint program with Len Deftos, MD, JD, LLM.
Health Leaders Publishes Comments on Patient Experience by Professor Bryan A. Liang
July 31, 2010. The limited concern of the patient experience by health care providers has resulted in poor satisfaction scores. Health Leaders published Professor Bryan Liang’s comments on these results.
Professor Liang noted that typical health care systems concerns of patients, including complaints, safety observations, and system insights, are routinely ignored despite the fact they constitute significant patient safety concerns. He advocates a system focused on patient experience scores published on the US hospitalcompare.hhs.gov site to reimburse providers for care, and calls for a renewal of true patient respect in health care delivery.
The piece is “Time to Grade on Patient Experience,” in the July 2010 issue of Health Leaders on page 8.
Professor Bryan Liang Quoted by Associated Press on College Health Choices
July 28, 2010. The challenges for students and families as the new school year rolls around include a key issue: how to choose health insurance in the context of health reform. Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang was interviewed and quoted in an AP story on the topic.
Professor Liang noted that with health care reform rules being implemented just as the academic year starts, students and parents should review what their own insurance covers, and what are the alternatives available. He warned that school-based health plans can be very limited, and colleges often reject a student’s private insurance. Hence, he indicated that careful planning as to student coverage, and identification of provider access points at and around schools should be of paramount importance. Future health care reform rules may ultimately allow broader access to care on campus by requiring schools plans to take external health insurance plans.
The story is “Test 1 for college students: Picking an insurer,” by Candice Choi, Associated Press Personal Finance reporter, July 28, 2010.
IHLS and HLS Participate in Habitat for Humanity Project
July 17, 2010. The Institute of Health Law Studies and the student Health Law Society worked with the San Diego Habitat for Humanity to construct lower income housing complex for underserved community populations in San Diego County. Despite the searing temperatures, a group of 15 volunteers hammered, painted, dug, swept and even climbed scaffolds all day to assist the Habitat for Humanity with the project’s construction.
The 8 joint condos that were being built by IHLS and HLS were running behind its projected date of completion for lower income families in National City. Hence, IHLS and HLS volunteers provided the resources to put the project back onto track.
IHLS was very proud of its student and family volunteers that took their personal time to assist. According to Executive Director Bryan A. Liang, “These folks are the great hope for our future. To so readily give back to the community in these conditions provides all of us an important example of how great an impact we can have when working together.”
IHLS 6th Annual Erizen Sei Bowles Feed A Friend Food Drive Begins
July 1, 2010. Currently, there are over 16,000 homeless men, women and children throughout San Diego County. During the summer months, the Alpha Project’s food bank is very low and they are in need of non-perishable food items. Starting July 1st and throughout the month of July, IHLS will be collecting food items to help replenish the food bank for our homeless community here in San Diego.
Institute Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang stated that "Our students and faculty at CWSL take an active role in helping with food donations that make a real difference in our local community. This is an annual event and this will be our sixth year assisting in this key community effort."
The Erizen Sei Bowles Feed A Friend Food Drive is named after Erizen Sei Bowles, a former CWSL student and IHLS President, who lost his life in an accident three years ago. He had a special interest in the plight of the homeless. The Food Drive is coordinated by Pam Tait, Program Administrator of IHLS.
IHLS Assists the Surfrider Foundation with Environmental Cleanup
June 26, 2010. IHLS joined forces with hundreds of people to work on beach cleanup in Pacific Beach. This is a large problem in San Diego with the all the trash that washes up on the coastal shores along with beachgoers leaving trash behind.
For three hours, IHLS picked up trash and placed them in trash bags along Pacific Beach and Mission Beach Shores. Following the trash pickup, IHLS joined over 200 local citizens in Hands Across the Sand. This event was to promote clean energy for coastal and marine environments. There were over 200 events conducted on Saturday to make our coasts healthier and 16 of these events were held here in San Diego.
Professor Bryan Liang Interviewed on California Nursing Strike Issues
June 7, 2010. As June 10, 2010 approaches, the largest US nurses strike looms in California and Minnesota. University of California has indicated it will attempt to obtain an injunction against the announced strike. KPBS interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the issues in the case.
Professor Liang noted that the nurses and physicians have been limited in their ability to strike because of challenges to patient care delivery. However, he also noted that patient safety risks are associated with current nursing complaints of minimal enforcement of state-mandated nurse-patient ratios. Dr. Liang noted that the collective bargaining agreement will have to be clarified to determine whether it allows nurses to strike under these conditions.
Professor Liang was interviewed by Kenny Goldberg, KPBS Health Correspondent.
San Diego Physician Features Professor Bryan A. Liang and the San Diego Health Policy Conference
May 28, 2010. The challenges of pharmaceutical trafficking have been noted in a wide array of settings, including the recent 6th Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference. San Diego Physician featured Professor Bryan Liang and the other speakers at the San Diego Health Policy conference in discussing this important public health concern. It noted the challenges for medicine and law, and indicated that cooperation between the two fields should be a priority if the problem is to be effectively addressed.
The article is "Illegal Trafficking of Prescription Drugs," by Adam Dorin, MD, MBA, in the May 2010 issue of San Diego Physician.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang Interviewed by KCBS on Health Reform Impact on Employers
May 24, 2010. The complexities of healthcare reform are still to be shaken out. Even employers have little idea of how healthcare reform may impact them. KCBS interviewed Professor Bryan Liang to provide some information on this topic.
Professor Liang noted that almost 1/3 of employers in a new study had no idea how much reform would cost them. Dr. Liang also indicated that issues associated with the excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans, integrating part-time workers, and offsetting the cost of adding young adults to employee plans have created great challenges for employer costs during these difficult economic times. He predicted that the costs of reform will lead employers to avoid as long as possible the mandates associated with the reform legislation.
Dr. Liang was interviewed by KCBS News Anchor Rebecca Corral.
Los Angeles Daily News Publishes Opinion Editorial on Mandatory Vaccinations by Professor Bryan Liang
May 20, 2010. Healthcare reform has focused on the costs of care. Yet prevention is often a low cost intervention to avoid the high costs of medical treatment. Vaccines offer this benefit; yet California does not mandate pneumococcal vaccination for high risk persons - specifically, children in day care centers.
Professor Bryan Liang authored an opinion editorial for the Los Angeles Daily News outlining these concerns. He called for regulatory mandates by the state Department of Health for vaccinations for children entering day care to promote public health and reduce healthcare treatment costs.
The opinion editorial is entitled "Mandatory Vaccination: Saving Lives and Money" in the May 20, 2010 issue of the Los Angeles Daily News.
IHLS Member Professor Fusako Seki Meets with Japanese Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare
May 17, 2010. The challenges of rising healthcare costs of the elderly are being faced globally. Japan is facing these challenges intensely, as its population is one of the oldest in the world. To address these issues, Japan has enacted a new independent health care system for the elderly aged 75 or order in 2006, with enforcement beginning in 2008. However, the new government has announced that it will abolish this system due to its unpopularity. IHLS Member Professor Fusako Seki briefed the Reforming Conference of Health Care System for the Elderly of the Japanese Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare. She talked about Medicare in the USA and the ideology of ageism, and how these lessons could be applied in Japan.
Health Law Society and Institute of Health Law Studies Featured in Two San Diego Blood Bank Publications
May 17, 2010. The Health Law Society and the Institute of Health Law Studies at California Western School of Law were featured in two publications of the San Diego Blood bank. HLS and IHLS were honored for their top level achievement in blood drives over the past year, with pictures of Dr. Bryan Liang, IHLS Executive Director, and the CWSL community.
The San Diego Blood Bank publications are The Group Difference Newsletter, March 2010 issue on page 2, and The Donor Difference, April 2010 issue, also on page 2.
Chronicle of Higher Education Publishes Commentary on College Health by Professor Bryan Liang
May 16, 2010. The healthcare reform provisions seemingly covered a broad swath of the uninsured. Yet a key group - young adults - still represent the shadow uninsured.
In an invited Commentary in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Professor Bryan Liang reviews the poor state of college and university sponsored health programs. He notes investigations of conflict of interest, school exclusion of private insurance, as well as poor insurance policy choices by schools that focus on profits to the school rather than the best interests of students. He called for schools to revamp their programs under healthcare reform by renewing their fiduciary duty through choosing plans based on student benefit and/or accepting student private insurance.
The Commentary is "How College Health-Care Plans Fail Students," in the May 16, 2010 online edition and the May 21, 2010 print edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Daily Journal Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on High Risk Pools in Healthcare Reform
May 7, 2010. Healthcare reform provisions include establishment of state high-risk pools for the uninsured, underwritten by the federal government. Yet there may be issues of practicality when it comes to implementation. The Daily Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the topic.
Professor Liang noted that the underwriting of these high risk pools would only be a one-time payment by the federal government; yet the scope and extent of services and coverage will deplete that funding before full healthcare reform is put into place. As well, the federal pool would provide better and more extensive services that the state pool, opening the state to discrimination claims. He called for an assessment and alternative funding to ensure equity and coverage until full healthcare reform provisions are put into place.
The story is "Insurance Pools to Be First test for Health Reform," by Evan George in the May 7, 2010 issue of the Daily Journal, page 3.
Professor Bryan Liang Quoted in Article on Counterfeit Drug Seller Use of Twitter
May 6, 2010. Social networking has been a tremendous boon to individual and commercial communications strategies. Yet criminal elements have also taken note and used these tools to promote illegal activities. One area identified is the sale of counterfeit drugs.
Secure Pharma quoted IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang, who is also the Partnership for Safe Medicines Vice President on this topic. Dr. Liang noted that these activities are spreading, and law enforcement must be given adequate legal tools to shut down these operations. Twitter and other social networking systems must take note that their sites are being used for illegal activities, and terminate these account holders while cooperating with law enforcement investigators.
The story is “Rogue pharmacies turning to Twitter to peddle drugs,” by Phil Taylor, in the May 6, 2010 edition of Secure Pharma.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang and Research Associate Tim Mackey Publish Perspectives Piece on Accountable Care Organizations in Daily Journal
May 5, 2010. Healthcare reform has focused upon the escalating costs of health care. Importantly, strategies are contemplated by the legislation to reduce costs while increasing quality and efficiency. Accountable Care Organizations have been touted as one viable strategy.
Professor Bryan Liang and Research Associate Tim Mackey discuss the potential for ACOs to accomplish these goals. However, they note significant legal concerns that must be addressed before healthcare providers can begin accessing incentive funds for ACOs. These include corporate legal issues of infrastructure to fraud and abuse as well as antitrust rules.
The Perspectives piece is entitled “The ABCs of Accountable Care Organizations,” on page 6 of the May 5, 2010 issue of the Daily Journal.
Washington Post Interviews Dr. Bryan Liang on Anesthesiology Board Announcement of Sanctions for Participating in Lethal Injection
May 2, 2010. The recent announcement that the American Board of Anesthesiology will sanction anesthesiologists by revoking their certification if they participate in capital punishment has once again raised the issue of lethal injection, the death penalty, and physician participation. The Washington Post interviewed Professor Bryan Liang, who has written extensively on the topic.
Professor Liang, a physician and a member of the UCSD Department of Anesthesiology, indicated that although there have been many pronouncements prohibiting physician participation in capital punishment, the move by anesthesiology signals a strong policy statement backed by sanction. Because of concerns within anesthesia of “medicalizing” capital punishment using the field’s key skills, Dr. Liang noted that this statement is an important signal that it would not participate nor tolerate its professionals doing so.
The story is “Group to censure physicians who play role in lethal injections,” by Rob Stein, on page A1 in the May 2, 2010 issue of the Washington Post.
Wall Street Journal Article on College Health Quotes Professor Bryan A. Liang
May 1, 2010. The passage of healthcare reform legislation attempted to address key issues for young adults. Yet these efforts have ignored a growing problem of access to healthcare on colleges campuses for these students. The Wall Street Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang, who has written extensively on the topic, for his thoughts.
Professor Liang noted that the current system results in a “shadow uninsured”, where both uninsured as well as students with private or public insurance are uninsured when entering the campus grounds. Generally, unless students and their families pay for the limited coverage, high cost sharing insurance offered by schools who profit off these plans, schools will charge students more for services than those who paid for the school’s plan. Hence, students and families may pay multiple times for care yet get poor service on campus.
The article is “Don’t Get Sick on Campus: Some Colleges Overcharge Students With Private Insurance; Late Fees Can Spiral,” by Mary Pilon in the May 1, 2010 issue of the Wall Street Journal.
Radio Health Journal Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Counterfeit Drug Risks
April 28, 2010. The growing concerns regarding fake and substandard drugs continue as increasing scrutiny of the drug supply chain shows vulnerabilities. Radio Health Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on this public health threat.
Dr. Liang explained how poor quality and substandard drugs can be introduced into the legitimate supply chain, and the difficulties of detecting these illicit forms. He also noted that the Internet has fueled the entry of criminal actors into this market. He called for tightening of the supply chain, elimination of Internet drug sales unless accredited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, and global law enforcement cooperation to identify and prosecute criminals engaged in these activities.
Dr. Liang was interviewed by Reed Pence, host of Radio Health Journal. Radio Health Journal airs weekly on more than 430 stations nationally.
IHLS Participates in Rady Children’s Hospital First Call-a Thon “Dialing for Miracles”
April 27, 2010. As members of the Rady’s Children’s Hospital Auxiliary, IHLS assisted with calls for its inaugural call-a-thon, “Dialing for Miracles.” The purpose of the event was to collect donors to support the kite tiles that will be displayed in the new Acute Care Pavilion scheduled to open at Rady Children’s Hospital on October10, 2010. The motto for the event was: Build Hope: One Kite at a Time.
IHLS participates in a wide array of community service activities with Rady Children’s Hospital, including its annual Valentine’s Day Party for pediatric cardiac patients and their families.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Gives Global Governance Presentation in Global Health Program
April 27, 2010. Public health concerns, such as infectious disease, emergency preparedness, and climate change, do not confine themselves within geopolitical borders. Hence, it is essential that global governance systems are put into place to timely address this reality.
IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang gave a presentation to the Global Health Program at UCSD-SDSU that described the concept of global governance, its weaknesses, and policy principles and factors for analysis. He indicated that "The focus for those involved in global governance efforts is situational awareness: what are the issues, factors, concerns, and systems that promote or conflict for the parties." However, Dr. Liang also noted that "We must also be aware that the forum itself is a stakeholder, and it must be assessed to determine what direction - cooperation or conflict - is the relevant possibility as the chosen resolution."
Dr. Liang’s presentation was entitled, "Considerations of Global Governance: Principles for Policy Promotion." He was asked to give the presentation by Professor Thomas Novotny, MD, MPH, Director of the UCSD-SDSU Global Health Program.
IHLS Supports La Jolla Kiwanis Run for Charity
April 24, 2010. IHLS assisted the Kiwanis in its 39th Annual La Jolla Half Marathon Run held April 24-25, 2010. IHLS volunteers helped runners pick up their race packets as well as distributed t-shirts to all participants. It was a beautiful weekend and the event was sold out. All proceeds from the run will be used to benefit youth and elder programs in the community.
Professor Bryan Liang Gives Counterfeit Drugs Presentation to European Oncology Nurses
April 15, 2010. The challenges of counterfeit drugs cut across many patient groups. Yet the most vulnerable patient populations, such as victims of cancer, are particularly affected. Nurses often are one of key healthcare providers that monitor medications and their impact on cancer patients.
Professor Bryan A. Liang provided the European Oncology Nursing Society with a total overview and experience of public health work that assesses the problems of counterfeit drugs. He noted that both limited provider suspicion in combination with legal holes and supply chain challenges makes oncology nurses one of the last barriers to harm from counterfeit and substandard drugs.
The presentation was entitled, "Systems Warnings: Oncology Nursing and Patient Education on Substandard Drugs," at the 7th European Oncology Nursing Association 7th Spring Convention in Den Hague, Netherlands on April 15, 2010.
IHLS Receives Life Level Four Crystal Award from San Diego Blood Bank
April 12, 2010. With the assistance of the student Health Law Society, IHLS reached the pinnacle group level possible for blood donations, the Life Level Four Member. Life Level Four Members exemplify the highest level commitment to community service and play a leading role in ensuring that the community has a plentiful blood supply available for patients in need.
Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang noted that “this is one of the most important community service activities we are fortunate to able to participate in. The ability to literally give the gift of life through our blood donation efforts allows us to have a truly positive impact on the society around us.”
Daily Journal Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Disability Bill in Assembly
April 7, 2010. The challenges faced by disability insurance policyholders in California have grown as instances of the Department of Insurance not protecting consumers against insurer abuses have been reported. The use of “discretionary clauses” by disability insurers to usurp full judicial review has been highlighted. AB1868 by Assembly Member Dave Jones, to address these insurer clauses has been introduced.
The Daily Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang for his comment on the bill’s provisions. He noted that he supported the bill, which would require the Insurance Commissioner to reject disability policies with these clauses, and noted that such a bill would not run afoul of federal law according to recent jurisprudence. He was also asked to testify in favor of the bill, and his written testimony will be part of the Insurance Committee’s assessment.
The story is “Bill Seeks to Level Playing Field for Diabled,” by Evan George in the April 7, 2010 edition of the Daily Journal.
Daily Journal Publishes Perspective Piece by Professor Bryan Liang and Research Associate Tim Mackey
April 7, 2010. The recent mandated disclosure by Pfizer of $35 million in payments to healthcare providers in the latter half of 2009 illustrates challenges associated with drug company relationships with individuals. Yet these disclosures may not be enough to address conflicts of interest with an ignored group: academic research institutions. Professor Bryan Liang and Research Associate Tim Mackey published a Perspectives piece in the Daily Journal outlining the need to focus upon institutional conflicts of interest.
Professor Liang and Mr. Mackey discussed the challenges with institutional conflict of interest and pointed to the many factors influencing entities and their researchers that may impact patient safety. They called for a “centralized system” that can separate industry influence from academic activities to promote effective and efficient progress in scientific knowledge that ensures patient safety.
The Perspectives piece is entitled "Confronting Conflict of Interest" in the April 7, 2010 issue of the Daily Journal on page 7.
San Diego Business Journal Story Features IHLS San Diego Health Policy Conference
April 5, 2010. With the increased focus on healthcare reform, many have touted the benefits associated with reduced drug costs in the passed bills. Yet a key area that has not been addressed is prescription drug trafficking. The San Diego Business Journal covered the 6th Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference, which discussed these very concerns.
The story focused on the challenges associated with fraud and billion dollar losses associated with pharmaceutical trafficking and crime. It quoted IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang, as well as conference participants Cesar Arias, former Florida health department inspector, Florida Statewide Prosecutor William Shepherd, and Florida Special Prosecutor Oscar Gelpi.
The story is "Prescription Drug Trafficking Threat to Health Care: Bootlegging Legal Drugs Through Illegal Channels a Growing Concern," by Heather Chambers. The San Diego Health Policy Conference was entitled "Pharmaceutical Crime: Investigating and Prosecuting Drug Diversion and Counterfeiting." IHLS hosts the San Diego Health Policy Conference each year.
University Business Publishes Op Ed by Professor Bryan Liang on Student Access to Healthcare Under Reform Bills
April 2, 2010. The challenges with student health access may not be addressed by healthcare reform legislation. Professor Bryan Liang pointed to the challenges associated with student access to healthcare on campus in an opinion editorial published in University Business. He indicated that schools must be better stewards of student funds, and called for schools to adopt health reform principles to ensure access to healthcare on campus.
The editorial is entitled, “Healthcare Reform: Opportunities to Address the Shadow Uninsured Student,” published in the April 2010 edition of University Business.
American Medical News Covers Testimony by Professor Bryan A. Liang on Insurance Rescissions
March 29, 2010. With healthcare reform bills passed, there are still questions regarding insurer practices. American Medical News quoted Professor Bryan Liang’s testimony at the California Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review, noting that few persons got benefits associated with the California rescission settlements.
The story is "California health plan rescissions affected many, but few received help," by Emilly Berry, in the March 29, 2010 issue of the American Medical News.
IHLS Hosts 6th Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference on Pharmaceutical Crime Investigation and Prosecution
March 26, 2010. The Institute of Health Law Studies, California Western School of Law hosted the 6th Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference, held at the Hilton Harbor Island Hotel. The conference was entitled, “Pharmaceutical Crime: Investigating and Prosecuting Drug Diversion and Counterfeiting.”
"Issues with drug safety, counterfeits, and drug diversion are increasingly becoming a public health risk and drain on the public fisc," said Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang. “We need to look deeply at how medical and legal professionals can work together to effectively investigate and prosecute these crimes.”
Professor Liang invited key members of investigative and state law enforcement teams in Florida to speak. Florida has led the nation in addressing the problem of pharmaceutical crime. Speakers at the event included William Shepherd, JD, Florida Statewide Prosecutor; Tom Kubic, CEO, Pharmaceutical Security Institute; Oscar Gelpi, JD, Special Counsel, Florida Office of Statewide Prosecution; Julie Hogan, JD, Florida Chief Assistant Statewide Prosecutor; John Petri, Cesar Arias, RPh, and Gene Odin, PhD, Pharmaceutical Investigators, Stone Cold Investigations; Gary Venema, Special Agent, Florida Department of Law Enforcement; as well as Professor Liang.
Proceedings from the event will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Biolaw & Business.
Huffington Post Investigative Story References IHLS Report on Rescission Settlements
March 26, 2010. The issue of rescission of health insurance continues to plague patients who have individual health insurance policies. Investigations by the Huffington Post continue to unearth abuses by insurers. In a recent investigation, the Huffington Post Investigative Fund found that group plans were also engaging in these rescission practices. The story highlighted the difficult plight of patients who come up against rescinding insurers, citing IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan Liang’s analysis of the ineffectiveness of regulators in protecting patients. In particular, it noted few patients participated in the industry-favorable settlements.
The story is “In a Coma, With the Plug Pulled on Health Insurance,” by Danielle Ivory, posted on March 26, 2010 on the Huffington Post Investigative Fund website.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang’s Health Care Reform Perspectives Piece Published by Daily Journal
March 24, 2010. Challenges remain in pushing healthcare reform through Congress. In an invited Perspectives piece in the Daily Journal, Professor Bryan Liang outlined the issues that must be addressed by the Senate, including the arcane budget reconciliation process, political challenges, and legal challenges. He also noted that one of the greatest issues will be the individual mandate to purchase insurance, which is being fought by 37 states in introduced legislation and lawsuits against implementation. He also observed that other issues still must be addressed for healthcare reform to be put into place, including increased taxes, no limits on insurance premiums, low penalties for avoiding insurance purchases, and the positive or negative effects of healthcare cuts on quality and safety in health care.
The piece is entitled, "Health Care Reform: It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over," on page 7 in the March 24, 2010 issue of the Daily Journal.
Forbes Quotes “Crisis on Campus” Article by Professor Bryan Liang
March 22, 2010. The healthcare reform bill provisions have indicated that they will assist the uninsured. However, this is not true in all instances. One key population ignored is students.
Forbes quoted Professor Bryan Liang’s University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform article “Crisis on Campus: Student Access to Healthcare” to show how healthcare reform does not reach insured nor uninsured students for campus healthcare services. It concluded that changes must be put into place to ensure healthcare reform principles are applied to this group so they may use their own insurance on campus.
The article is “The Health Bill’s Collateral Damage,” by Gary Sutton in the March 22, 2010 issue of Forbes.com.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Comments on Health Reform Bill on KCBS
March 22, 2010. With the healthcare reform package passed by the House of Representatives and on its way for Presidential signature, KCBS asked Professor Bryan Liang to comment on its provisions and impact.
Professor Liang noted that there are many provisions that will impact the insured, uninsured, business, and government. While the full impact of the reform package will not go into effect until 2014, he noted that some provisions, including high risk pools and tax credits, will go into effect within the next 6 months. He also noted that there will be challenges with absorbing the uninsured into the public Medicaid system.
Professor Liang was interviewed on the KCBS News Program by Melissa Culross.
Bureau of National Affairs Covers Insurance Rescission Testimony of Professor Bryan A. Liang
March 17, 2010. The health insurance rescission practices of insurers continues to draw national attention during the health reform debate. The Bureau of National Affairs covered Professor Bryan A. Liang’s testimony at the California Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review.
The story noted that Professor Liang was an independent expert who provided an analysis of the highly limited effectiveness of the health insurance rescission settlement agreements between the California Department of Managed Health Care, Department of Insurance, and illegally acting health insurers. Professor Liang noted that fewer than 5% of the 6,000 victims of rescission either choose to be re-insured by the insurer who wrongfully dropped their policies or attempted to regain reimbursement of costs that should have been the responsibility of the rescinding insurance company.
The story is, “Legislative Committee Wants Agencies To Review Coverage Rescission Settlements,” by Steve Geissinger in the March 17, 2010 edition of the Bureau of National Affairs, Health Plan & Provider Report.
Consumer Insurance Publication Features Comments by Professor Bryan A. Liang
March 16, 2010. The issue of health insurance rescission is a key one for many consumers buying their coverage in the individual health insurance market. Because of its importance, Healthcare Watchdog created a consumer information booklet on “insurance scams” to educate the public about the spectrum of questionable health insurance practices. Included are explanations of health insurance rescission practices by health insurers from expert Professor Bryan A. Liang. Professor Liang also recently testified on the topic before the California Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review.
The publication is “Health Insurance Scams-Exposed,” by Healthcare Watchdog.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Appointed to Editorial Board of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Journal
March 15, 2010. Professor Bryan A. Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies, was appointed to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Journal Board of Editors.
“This is wonderful honor and privilege,” said Professor Liang. “The ability to interact with experts on the editorial board and in the field on important issues for our senior population is a unique opportunity to learn and contribute to the elder and special needs populations,” he added.
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is a non-profit association that represents lawyers, bar organizations and others who work with older clients and their families. NAELA membership is comprised of attorneys in the private and public sectors who deal with legal issues affecting the elderly and disabled. Members also include judges, professors of law, and students.
IHLS Granted Four Year Accreditation for Continuing Medical Education by Institute of Medical Quality
March 15, 2010. IHLS has received the maximum 4 year accreditation by the Institute of Medical Quality to grant Continuing Medical Education credit for healthcare providers. This was a particularly challenging year for CME accreditation, as the state and the federal accreditation bodies significantly changed their requirements, and indeed, IHLS was the first entity in San Diego to undergo a CME accreditation survey under these new standards. IHLS remains the first and only law school entity in the US empowered to grant CME credit.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang said on the announcement that he “wished to acknowledge the special efforts of the CME committee to marshall the resources to obtain this highest level designation: IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait, and CME Committee Members Arlene Luu, RN, JD, and Shannon Biggs, JD, MEd, MA.” He added that “I want to particularly highlight Pam Tait's contributions to organizing, maintaining, and directing the re-accreditation effort, which took an extraordinary amount of skill and energy, not to mention the countless hours of documentation required.”
Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang Promoted to Professor of Anesthesiology at UCSD School of Medicine
March 12, 2010. Bryan A. Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies, was promoted to Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Professor Liang is both a physician and an attorney.
“This is a gratifying and wonderful honor for me,” said Dr. Liang. “With this promotion, hopefully IHLS and UCSD can find additional opportunities for collaboration and creative problem solving to address some of the most difficult challenges in health policy.”
Professor Liang was promoted from Associate Professor of Anesthesiology to Professor of Anesthesiology after an extensive review process that included many of the top physicians in the nation evaluating his work.
NPR Health Care "Shots" Blog Covers Professor Bryan A. Liang's Rescission Testimony and Report
March 12, 2010. The limited impact of the California Department of Managed Health Care and Department of Insurance settlements with insurers is drawing national attention. The NPR health blog, "Shots," covered Executive Director Bryan A. Liang’s testimony and report on the topic.
The Shots blog noted that "Around 6,000 people affected by rescissions were eligible to get new policies under the settlements. But did they?
"Not very many actually. A report for a California Assembly committee checking up on things found less than 300 people have gotten coverage from their former insurers under the deals. The independently prepared report called the results 'highly disappointing.'
"What went wrong? The settlements were too complicated and the state agencies involved in carrying them out didn't do a good enough job reaching out to eligible people.”
The NPR blog also quotes Professor Liang’s report and conclusion. The posting is “California Settlements Haven't Helped Many Dropped By Insurers,” by Scott Hensley, March 12, 2010, and is available here.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Testifies Before Assembly Accountability Committee
March 10, 2010. With health insurer abuses becoming a pivotal point in the reform debate, the California Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review assessed the health insurer rescission agreements between the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) and the California Department of Insurance (CDI). IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan Liang was asked to provide an analytic report on the settlement and testify at the hearing by the Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review on the issue.
Professor Liang found that very few rescission victims took part in the settlements, despite DMHC and CDI broadcasting them with great fanfare when initially entered into. He noted that fewer than 5% of all eligible victims participated in reenrollment and even tinier percentages sought reimbursement for costs in the complex, legalistic system that required the innocent victim to shoulder the burden of proof. He also noted that despite the fact that California is the most culturally diverse state in the US, the letters sent to victims were drafted in English using college-level prose and laden with medical, legal, and insurance jargon. DMHC and CDI also performed no follow-up nor had a feedback system in place to determine the effectiveness of the settlements. Professor Liang also observed that DMHC and CDI referred victims back to original legal documents for additional information on the settlements—a practice highly inappropriate for the victims. Finally, he noted that only lawyers were involved in the settlement process—victims had limited if any input into settlement terms with the illegally-acting insurers. He calculated that assuming only $10,000 damages per person, the lack of victim participation allowed most of the $60 million that should have been collected by victims to remain with the illegally-acting insurers.
Professor Liang was the only independent expert asked to testify at the hearing. He was requested to create the report and testify by Assembly Member Hector de la Torre, Chair of the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Quoted in Los Angeles Times Story on DMHC and CDI Rescission Settlement Review
March 10, 2010. Continued attention on the DMHC and CDI rescission settlements have brought scrutiny on the process and its results. The Los Angeles Times interviewed Professor Bryan Liang, who authored an analysis of the rescission settlements and testified before the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review.
Professor Liang pointed to the less than 5% participation in reenrollment and tiny percentages of victim recovery as tremendous cause for concern. He also pointed to the communications that used college-level prose, were available only in English as a default, and a system that put the burden on innocent victims rather than the illegally acting insurer.
The story is “Few Californians benefiting from rescission settlements: Report finds that fewer than 300 of 6,000 former policyholders who were dropped after they became ill are participating in health insurers' agreements to settle such cases,” by Lisa Girion in the March 10, 2010 edition of the Los Angeles Times.
Daily Journal Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang on Rescission Settlement Analysis
March 10, 2010. DMHC and CDI settlements with health insurers have come under fire. The Daily Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang, who authored a report for the California Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review, on his findings regarding the rescission settlements.
Professor Liang noted that the settlements, although announced with great fanfare by DMHC and CDI, were excessively bureaucratic, had no feedback mechanism, put the burden on the innocent victim, and resulted in only tiny percentages of patients reenrolling in plans or recovering costs from illegally-acting insurers. He characterized the settlements as “policy failures” and called for additional investigations on the matter.
The story is “Report: Few Health Policyholders Aided by Regulators,” by Evan George in the March 10, 2010 edition of the Daily Journal.
IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang Comments on Rescission Settlements in San Francisco Chronicle
March 9, 2010. Although there have been well-publicized settlements in the California health insurance rescission cases, questions have been raised about their effectiveness. The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on his perspective.
Professor Liang noted that very small reenrollments into health plans and very low recoveries for patients from illegally-acting insurers indicates there are severe weaknesses associated with the settlements. He added that not much justice was provided to the thousands of patients who had their policies rescinded and recovered only limited amounts from these insurers.
The story is “Settlements over dropped insurance lanquish” by Victoria Colliver, in the March 9, 2010 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Institute Sponsors Team in the California Innocence Project Dodge Ball Tournament
March 8, 2010. IHLS sponsored and entered a team of 8 participants to play in the annual California Western School of Law CIP Dodgeball Tournament. The IHLS team’s name was the H1N1s. Players dressed in red t-shirts with plastic swine flu noses. The team captain, Gina Dawson, wore a blue t-shirt and a hat that carried the inoculation syringe.
The tournament is a fundraiser for CIP, which assists wrongfully convicted citizens to establish their innocence in the justice system. IHLS sponsors teams for the event each year.
Institute of Health Law Studies Given Alpha Project Service Appreciation Award
March 5, 2010. The Institute of Health Law Studies, a Center of Excellence of the California Western School of Law, was given the Alpha Project Service Appreciation Award today. The Alpha Project is a charitable organization that supports the needs of the homeless. The award stems from the activities of IHLS in its Warm A Heart Homeless Clothes Drive held each February, as well as its Feed A Friend Food Drive for the Homeless program held each July.
Professor Bryan A. Liang, IHLS Executive Director, and Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator accepted the award on behalf of IHLS. “This is a tremendous honor for IHLS,” said Dr. Liang. “We are fortunate to be in the position to be able to give back to our community, and working with the Alpha Project has been an important opportunity to address the needs of the homeless, particularly in these difficult economic times.” In addition, Ms. Tait indicated that “Over the past six years, we have been able to take advantage of the generosity of CWSL, and this award is really for those who contributed to these drives, recognizing the plight of the homeless.”
Professor Liang Interviewed by Lawyers USA on Botox Trials
March 4, 2010. More attention has been given to the Spears Botox verdict as lawyers prepare for the next set of lawsuits. Lawyers USA interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on what to expect in the next stages of litigation.
Professor Liang noted that although the Spears’ jury found adequate warnings by Allergan as to side effects of Botox use in pediatric cerebral palsy patients, he did not believe that this would be the conclusion of all juries who will consider the warnings. But he also stated that even if plaintiffs can convince juries that there was a failure to warn on the part of Allergan, proving causation of that failure and injuries suffered by ill patients will be difficult.
The story is “First Botox verdict goes to defense, but it’s just the beginning ,” by Nora Lockwood Tooher, in the March 4, 2010 issue of Lawyers USA.
IHLS Invited to Attend Mabel Jessop Women’s Symposium
March 4, 2010 The need to increase women in business and leadership positions has been a challenging problem to address. However, inroads have been made through educational and networking programs by foundations that invite leading women to participate in these events. IHLS was invited to send a representative to the Mabel Jessop Women’s Symposium, which has as its goal to promote women in business.
IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait attended to support this effort. The event was a full day of women’s workshops and discussion groups with over 400 attendees. The main focus was on women in the business field and speakers made presentations that covered business management, education and finance.
KPBS Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Congressional Investigation of Health Insurer Practices
March 3, 2010. Health insurers large increases in premiums and new revelations that they may be squeezing patients out of low cost plans into high cost ones with less coverage has ignited the health reform debate. The House of Representatives has announced hearings into these insurer practices. KPBS interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on these developments.
Professor Liang noted that the “perfect storm” of increasing insurance rates, health reform efforts, and millions of dollars in health insurer CEO bonuses annually has placed significant attention on health insurer practices. He also indicated that the hearings investigating these companies will be high profile, and will extend from Congress to State Capitols.
Professor Liang was interviewed by Kenny Goldberg, KPBS Health Reporter.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Comments on Botox Verdict in the Los Angeles Times
March 3, 2010. The case of Dee Spears, the mother of a 7 year old who died after Botox treatment for pediatric cerebral palsy, ended in a verdict for the manufacturer Allergan. The Los Angeles Times interviewed Professor Bryan Liang for his reaction.
Professor Liang, who is both a physician and an attorney, noted that this was first case to go trial of Botox treatment in these patients. Looking to future trials, he indicated that although the jury did not find that Allergan failed to warn, this conclusion may be challenged in other cases because the FDA mandated a black box, or special warning several months ago for the drug. He also noted that the jury in the Spears case did not reach the issue of causation, which will be challenging to prove. Finally, he noted that off-label promotion of Botox for pediatric cerebral palsy may have been done illegally by Allergan, which may serve as a basis of future investigations into Allergan’s marketing efforts.
The story is “Botox maker is not liable in girl's death, O.C. jury says,” by Lisa Girion in the March 3, 2010 edition of the Los Angeles Times.
Voice of America Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Counterfeit Medicines
February 28, 2010. The concerns of counterfeit drugs are becoming a greater global public health issue. Voice of America interviewed Professor Bryan Liang for his comments.
Professor Liang noted that groups such as the World Health Organization, the Partnership for Safe Medicines, and others are working to educate the public and policymakers on means to address this growing concern. He indicated that the Internet is a key source of difficulty, both supplying materials for illicit use and as a forum to sell counterfeit medicines. He added that patients are the last barrier to harm, and the better educated they are on the taste, form, and normal reactions to the drug, the better able patients will be able to detect fakes.
The article was a second in a series on counterfeit drugs. The piece is entitled, “The Danger of Counterfeit Drugs (Second of Two Parts): A look at some of what is being done to fight fake medicines,” by June Gibbs.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Comments on Bipartisan Healthcare Summit
February 25, 2010. President Obama and Congressional Democrats have attempted to jump start healthcare reform through a bipartisan healthcare summit. KCBS asked Professor Bryan Liang for his reaction to this effort.
Dr. Liang noted that much of the event will be political theatre, with many of the speakers from both sides addressing the public rather than the participants in the room. He also indicated that focusing on narrow aspects of healthcare reform in standalone bills appears to be the best chance method for substantive changes in the health delivery system.
Professor Liang was interviewed by the KCBS News Team.
KPBS Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang on Transplant Denial Case Against Blue Cross
February 24, 2010. The case of Ephram Nehme, the patient denied a transplant by Blue Cross California who then traveled to Indiana and paid for treatment on his own, has spurred interest in how insurers determine coverage for expensive treatments. KPBS asked Professor Bryan Liang for his perspective.
Professor Liang noted that the case provides a unique look into how decisions are being made by insurers with respect to expensive treatments. He pointed out that health care provider employees of Blue Cross who denied Nehme’s request had no experience in transplantation. Further, he noted that any external appeals would go to companies that make money off reviewing such requests for Blue Cross, limiting their neutrality. He called for reform to address these conflicts of interest and medical competency for review of patient care requests.
Professor Liang was interviewed by Kenny Goldberg, KPBS Health Correspondent.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Interviewed on New Obama Healthcare Proposal
February 22, 2010. With the upcoming “summit” on healthcare scheduled for February 25, 2010, President Obama released his version of healthcare reform. KCBS asked Professor Bryan Liang on his perspective regarding its provisions.
Professor Liang noted that the Obama plan was “simply warmed over leftovers of the Senate effort” with minor modifications that attempt to address House Democrat concerns. He indicated that the President’s efforts appear to be more political posturing, and doubted that the plan would be passed as outlined. Notably, Dr. Liang emphasized that there was very little bipartisan ideas within the plan, and the focus on using the Senate proposal indicated that the divisive climate in Washington, DC will likely continue.
Professor Liang was interviewed by Rebecca Corral and Melissa Culross of KCBS News.
Daily Journal Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Google Policy Change for Online Drug Seller Advertisements
February 12, 2010. Google announced that it would no longer accept online drug seller advertising from non-National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites. It interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on this development, as he and co-author Tim Mackey published the first article exposing the lack of search engine accountability for allowing such sales (Searching for Safety: Addressing Search Engine, Website, and Provider Accountability for Illicit Online Drug Sales, 35(1) AMERICAN JOURNAL OF LAW & MEDICINE 125 (2009)).
Professor Liang noted that this was a great win for patients, but that the job is not yet complete. Although Google adopted the recommendation in Professor Liang and Mr. Mackey’s article, other search engines as well as unscrupulous online sellers can continue to allow and promote illicit sale of drugs without professional oversight. Hence, he called for federal legislation to address the issue.
The article is “Google Moves Against Some Online Ads For Pharmaceuticals” by Evan George on page 1 of the February 12, 2010 edition of the Daily Journal.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Interviewed by KCBS on Report of High Insurer Profits and Questionable Insurer Activities
February 12, 2010. With the recent announcement that the top five health insurers posted record profits this past year despite the economic downturn, are increasing premiums up to 39%, and have cut coverage to at least 2.5 million patients, reform advocates are calling for investigations of insurer practices. KCBS interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on his reaction.
Dr. Liang noted that these figures were telling because neither side of the political aisle has defended these profits and actions, and both have reacted by calling for reform and investigations. In addition, he noted that these figures also must be assessed in the context of millions of dollars of insurer CEO bonuses, and industry analysts indicating that a shareholder and Wall Street focus means that health insurers “can never act in the best interests of their customers.”
Professor Liang was interviewed by Rebecca Corral and Melissa Culross, KCBS News.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Interviewed in Los Angeles Times Story on Indictment of Michael Jackson’s Physician for Involuntary Manslaughter
February 10, 2010. The death of Michael Jackson and the investigation of his physician, Conrad Murray, MD, has finally led to charges against Dr. Murray for involuntary manslaughter. The Los Angeles Times interviewed Professor Bryan Liang for his reaction on the case.
Professor Liang, who is both a physician and attorney, indicated that Dr. Murray’s account to law enforcement and fellow physicians associated with emergency care has created challenges for his defense. The timeline presented voluntarily by Murray would be an important focus for prosecutors. Further, Professor Liang noted that Dr. Murray’s omission of any statement about his administration of the anesthetic Propofol to Jackson during emergency efforts strongly implied he knew it was inappropriate for use outside the hospital setting.
The story is "Michael Jackson's doctor's case may hinge on his police statement," by Harriet Meyer and Jack Leonard in the February 10, 2010 issue of the Los Angeles Times.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang Interviewed on “Dual Track” Healthcare Reform Strategy
February 4, 2010. Democrat efforts to jump start healthcare reform have included efforts to pare down proposals while also considering a “dual track” strategy of House passage of the Senate bill, and then using the budget reconciliation process to “fix” objectionable measures resisted by House democrats. KCBS interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on his reaction to this approach.
Professor Liang noted that narrowly focused bills might have a chance at passage. However, the dual track strategy is unlikely to garner support because the reconciliation process is not meant for creation of new programs. Further, moderate Democrats are concerned that such end runs will hurt their reelection efforts in November after the election of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Finally, Professor Liang added that the Democratic strategy to use reconciliation may be “painting themselves into a corner” because current reconciliation provisions expire in April, creating another deadline for Democrat healthcare reform efforts.
Professor Liang was interviewed by Stan Bunger and Susan Leigh Taylor, KCBS News.
IHLS Sponsors San Diego Blood Mobile
February 4, 2010. IHLS joined forces with the student Health Law Society to host the first blood drive for 2010. IHLS and HLS blood drives have become a tradition at the law school, and there was broad student and faculty participation.
IHLS continues to strive to make a difference in our community and will continue with quarterly blood drives. Last year, IHLS was designated Life Line Level 4, the highest level achievement for blood donations.
IHLS Hosts San Diego Network of CME Professionals Quarterly Meeting
February 2, 2010, IHLS hosted the first meeting for 2010 for the San Diego Network of CME coordinators in Mission Valley. IHLS is a leading CME provider in San Diego County. At the event, there were two guest speakers from The Doctor’s Company in Napa, CA, including Institute Member Ms. Arlene Luu, RN, JD.
The meeting contained in-depth discussion on the new CME Accreditation process, as many health provider groups are currently going through re-accreditation under the new rules. The new CME criteria has brought many challenges to the forefront and the meeting provided an opportunity to share resources for use in this process. Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator, is a designated CME Mentor.
6th Annual Warm a Heart Clothes Drive Begins
February 1, 2010. Throughout the entire month of February, IHLS will collect clothes donations for Alpha Project. Alpha Project is a philanthropic organization that services the San Diego homeless community.
There are over 17,000 homeless persons in San Diego and IHLS strives to provide assistance to this vulnerable group. The CWSL community can contribute by making clean and used clothing donations to benefit the less fortunate.
IHLS Honored as Member-at-Large Auxilliary Volunteer at Rady Children’s Hospital Annual Meeting
January 26, 2010, Program Administrator Pam Tait attended the Rady’s Children’s Hospital Annual Meeting at the Sheraton Harbor Island Conference Center. IHLS was recognized as the Member at Large Auxiliary volunteer.
The event was well attended, with over 400 participants and speakers. The meeting was highlighted with words from the children themselves and many heart warming stories were shared from them and their families. In addition to IHLS, leading physicians and experts were also presented awards.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Interviewed by KCBS on California Health Care Single Payer Bill
January 22, 2010. With health care reform being put into disarray federally after the election of Republican Scott Brown in the Senate, California has introduced a single payer bill for the state. KCBS interviewed longtime health policy observer Professor Bryan Liang on his reaction.
Professor Liang noted that this was not the right time for such a bill. Although health care reform is important, a bill costing a minimum of $210 billion in its first year at a time of economic hardship and high unemployment in the state is “inopportune at best.” He called for enforcement of current laws against insurer abuses and expanded access programs in cooperation with federal authorities until national reform efforts are clarified.
Professor Bryan A. Liang and Research Associate Tim Mackey’s Science Paper Featured in North County Times
January 20, 2010. IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang and IHLS Research Associate Tim Mackey’s paper, "Reforming Off-Label Promotion to Enhance Orphan Disease Treatment," published in the prestigious journal Science, was featured in the North County Times.
Dr. Liang and Mr. Mackey addressed the key problem of orphan diseases, defined in the USA as diseases afflicting less than 200,000 patients, and lack of treatment for these conditions. They proposed a system of "off label promotion," i.e., promotion of drug uses not yet approved by the FDA, as long as there are rigorous standards in place for risk management and patient safety purposes in orphan disease patients. This would increase access to important medications for these patients as well as provide an infrastructure to collect information to determine effectiveness.
The academic journal Science is one of the most prestigious journals in the world. It has consistently ranked 1st in impact in multidisciplinary sciences for the last 30 years, according to Thomson Reuter's Journal Citation Report.
The North County Times piece is entitled, "Going 'off-label' can help treat orphan diseases," by Bradley J. Fikes in the January 20, 2010 issue.
IHLS Sponsors Two H1N1 Flu Vaccine Clinics on campus
January 20, 2010.
Januarty 20, 2010. On January 12th and January 20th, IHLS sponsored a collaboration between California Western School of Law and Pacifica Medical to administer the H1N1/A Flu Vaccine to all students, faculty and staff.
This effort was an enormous challenge for health providers to obtain the vaccine since the supply was so limited. With constant communication each week, IHLS was able to obtain enough to vaccinate the CWSL community.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang Gives “Pay-for-Performance” Presentation at 2010 UCSD Anesthesia Update Conference
January 15, 2010. With health care reform very much on physicians’ minds, payment methods took on a very important role at the annual UCSD 2010 Anesthesia Update Conference, which attracts providers from around the country. Dr. Bryan Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies as well as a member of the UCSD Department of Anesthesiology, gave a timely presentation on cutting edge developments in the area.
“Pay-for-performance, which attempts to push health care providers into providing care consistent with health care guidelines and to reduce costs, is here to stay. However, there are still a few bugs in the system,” Dr. Liang noted. “Yet in the current health care reform climate, fixing these bugs is less a priority than finding means to expand pay-for-performance methods to reduce costs. Health care providers must look for opportunities to partner to obtain efficiencies in care that promote consistent and improved outcomes,” he added.
Dr. Liang’s presentation was entitled “Pay, Performance, and Politics: The History and Future[?] of P4P.” Dr. Liang was asked to present at the 2010 Anesthesia Update by Dr. Gerry Manecke, Chairman of the UCSD Department of Anesthesiology.
Los Angeles Times Quotes Professor Bryan Liang on Insurance Rescission Appeals Court Case
January 2, 2010. As the new year dawns, health care reform continues to remain on the policy agenda. A recent California Appeals court holding allowing the Los Angeles City Attorney to bring fraud charges against health care insurers directly for inappropriately rescinding health insurance policies is the latest in the battle over insurer practices. The Los Angeles Times asked Professor Bryan Liang, a noted expert on the topic, to comment.
Dr. Liang noted that the court ruling has provided clarity as to the scope of permitted action by public actors other than state regulators to safeguard their citizen’s rights. With the ruling, the appeals court added “new cops on the beat,” according to Dr. Liang, and provided additional protections for patients with individual health insurance policies that were wrongfully rescinded.
The story is “Health insurers' rescission practices are exposed to more scrutiny,” by Lisa Girion in the January 2, 2010 issue of the Los Angeles Times.
Professor Bryan Liang Interviewed by KCBS on Senate Healthcare Reform Vote
December 24, 2009. With the pressure of the end of the year and promises made by Democratic leaders, the Senate healthcare reform bill was finally passed. KCBS interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on what to expect next.
Professor Liang noted that the holiday recess will be a time of back room negotiating, and that reconciling the House and Senate bills will be challenging. He pointed to key issues such as abortion coverage, state versus federal insurance exchanges, and financing reform that are still to be addressed in the two versions. He indicated that despite deep party divisions, Democratic leaders will likely try and push through a compromise by the President's state of the union address.
Professor Liang was interviewed on KCBS on the Rebecca Corral and Melissa Culross program.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Publishes Opinion Editorial in Forbes on Drug Importation
December 18, 2009. Healthcare reform efforts in the Senate, seeking cost savings, considered drug importation. Sen. Byron Dorgan introduced the proposal through an amendment to the Senate bill. However, this amendment had challenges from both sides. After debate, the proposal was defeated. Professor Bryan Liang published an opinion editorial commenting on the Senate’s actions.
Professor Liang lauded the Senate for understanding the safety concerns of importation. He also noted that Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius and FDA Commissioner Hamburg both considered the policy a challenge to patient safety.
The opinion editorial is entitled, “Say No To Counterfeit Drugs”, published at Forbes.com on December 18, 2009.
San Diego Business Journal Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Weaknesses
December 14, 2009. The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act went into effect recently, but use of genetic information by insurers to discriminate against persons has been questioned. The San Diego Business Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on these concerns.
Professor Liang agreed that GINA was not totally protective, and in fact, any individual life, disability, and long term care policy application may include such questions and makes applicants vulnerable to genetic discrimination. He also noted that, worse yet, because these policies include disclosure to an insurer database seen by all of its members, policy rejection can occur without an explanation. Professor Liang called for increased GINA protections for these other policies.
The story is “Genetic Privacy Raises Questions About Insurers” by Heather Chambers in the December 14, 2009 edition of the San Diego Business Journal.
IHLS Sells Raffle Tickets to Benefit Rady Children’s Hospital
December 12, 2009. It was a spectacular evening of holiday entertainment for the whole family at the 20th Annual “Carols By Candlelight Concert” on Saturday, December 12, 2009. IHLS members, led by Program Administrator Pam Tait, wore their red aprons during the event to sell raffle tickets at the California Center for Arts in Escondido.
The raffle included autograph CDs, ornaments and a Taylor guitar from the performers of the evening. These included country western singer and Grammy award winner Lee Ann Rimes, Little River Band, Buck Howdy, Jordan Pruitt and Bucky Covington. After the concert, IHLS members participated in the candlelight vigil outside of the art center to light up the holiday Christmas tree.
All raffle proceeds went toward supporting the Rady Children’s Hospital Programs. It was a glorious evening to honor the sick children in San Diego County and to wish them all a healthy New Year 2010.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Gives Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Presentation at Rady Children’s Hospital Advanced Trauma Symposium
December 11, 2009. The H1N1/A Swine Flu, other infectious diseases, and human-sourced emergencies and disasters have spurred tremendous interest in pre-event planning and preparedness. Yet ethical and perception of response are still being debated. Professor Bryan A. Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies and Co-Director of the UCSD San Diego Center for Patient Safety was asked to present his assessment of these issues.
Professor Liang, a physician and an attorney, noted that models of priority of treating patients during emergencies and disasters have not been well-founded nor have they involved community input. Further, legal challenges of organizing and allowing out-of-state providers to enter into emergency and disaster locales have created uncertainty as to the permitted scope of action. He called for a greater openness of models and approaches of allocated scarce resources in emergencies and disasters, and uniform rules for providers who participate in response.
Dr. Liang’s presentation was entitled, “Perceptions and Hindsight Post-Emergency and Disaster Response: A Cautionary Tale.” Professor Liang was invited to the conference by Mary Hilfiker, MD, PhD, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Rady Children's Hospital.
Professor Bryan Liang Comments on Pharmaceutical Pricing Case in KCBS Interview
December 10, 2009. In a closely watched case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held for Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties in a ruling that is expected to curb drug prices at public hospitals and community health centers. KCBS interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the decision.
Professor Liang noted that the case is a watershed moment for challenging pharmaceutical prices under the federal “340B” program, which provides for discounted drugs for public clinics providing care to low income individuals. He observed that the case allowed individual counties to sue pharmaceutical manufacturers for violations of price agreements negotiated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Pharmaceutical companies had argued that counties as could not sue them, and only the Secretary had the power to attempt to enforce the contractual price agreement.
Professor Liang was interviewed by Matt Bigler, KCBS news reporter.
IHLS and HLS Representatives Appear in San Diego Blood Bank Public Service Commercial
December 8, 2009. IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang, IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait, HLS President Matt Wheeler, HLS VP Gina Dawson, HLS Treasurer Ben Kradin, and members of the California Western School of Law appeared in the San Diego Blood Bank Public Service commercial. The commercial is aired to encourage organizations and individuals to hold blood drives and give blood for community benefit.
“We are fortunate to have the San Diego Blood Bank in our community to save lives of thousands of patients each year,” said Professor Liang. “We ask members of our community to follow our lead and assist the San Diego Blood Bank and organizations such as IHLS, HLS, and California Western School of Law in helping needy San Diegans.”
IHLS and HLS are the highest status Life Level Four members of the San Diego Blood Bank.
Professor Bryan Liang Interviewed by KCBS on Senate Abortion Amendment
December 8, 2009. The intensifying debate on health care reform has begun. Recently, Sen. Ben Nelson introduced a bill prohibiting any use of federal funds for abortion in new reform options. KCBS interviewed Professor Bryan A. Liang on his perspective.
Professor Liang noted that Congress was permitted to limit what services any reform efforts would pay for. However, he also indicated that as restrictions become more of a barrier, women may be able to argue a violation of equal protection under the US Constitution.
Professor Liang was interviewed by Rebecca Corral and Melissa Culross, KCBS News Anchors.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Gives Pharmaceutical Pricing Presentation at UCSD Rady School of Business
December 4, 2009. IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang gave a presentation on pharmaceutical pricing and health care reform at the UCSD Rady School of Business. His presentation was entitled, “Pharmaceutical Pricing and Health Care Reform: Upward Spiral or Down the Drain?”.
“Although there are many economic models of value and pricing strategies, in the public policy domain, the key consideration is cost,” said Professor Liang. “Global budgets and short term outlook and justifications dominate the discussion. Despite corporate long term outlooks in the pharmaceutical industry, the reality the industry must face is that pricing must be sensitive to policy needs and it must adjust its efforts accordingly,” he added.
Dr. Liang also joined Ciara Kennedy, PhD, and Michael Pollack, VP of Health Economics at Biogen-Idec, for a panel assessment of pharmaceutical pricing strategies.
Dr. Liang was asked to present by Jay Kranzler, MD, of the Rady School of Business and CEO of Cypress Biosciences.
KCBS Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on COBRA Subsidies Program Termination
December 1, 2009. COBRA health insurance subsidies passed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are scheduled to end this month. Nationally syndicated radio KCBS interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the implications for the public.
Professor Liang noted that the program termination may have significant impact on access to health insurance. With the cost of family health insurance representing approximately 80% of national unemployment benefits each month, loss of the subsidy will require many if not most families to drop health care coverage. He indicated the weaknesses associated with “band aid” approaches such as the COBRA subsidies emphasize the need for substantive reform.
The story is "Laid Off Workers Face Expiration of Health Benefit." Professor Liang was interviewed by KCBS reporter Holly Quon.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Appears on UCSD Graduate Program Information Media
November 30, 2009. Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang, Shapiro Distinguished Professor of Health Law at California Western School of Law, as well as Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Co-Director of the San Diego Center for Patient Safety at UCSD School of Medicine, appeared on video information media regarding UCSD Masters of Advanced Studies graduate school programs.
Professor Liang was interviewed about key aspects of the UCSD MAS program in Leadership in Health Care Organizations as well as the joint UCSD-CWSL MAS program in Health Law. He is the only faculty member in both programs and was the only person interviewed for both.
The information videos will be aired in various traditional television media as well as on the Internet.
Executive Director Professor Bryan Liang Quoted in Washington Post Article on Counterfeit Drugs
November 20, 2009. The challenges of counterfeit drug sales around the world have continued to attract law enforcement attention, with the most recent Operation Pangea II resulting in coordinated global arrests and seizures of hundreds of persons and products involved. The Washington Post interviewed Professor Bryan Liang about Pangea II.
Professor Liang, a noted expert on counterfeit drugs and the Vice President of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, indicated that the global trade in counterfeits was growing. He emphasized that coordinated and cooperative law enforcement efforts are key to address global health concerns represented by counterfeit drugs.
The story is "Crackdown targets counterfeit drugs: Raids held worldwide," by Ylan Q. Mui, in the November 20, 2009 edition of the Washington Post.
Daily Journal Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Disability Insurance Story
November 20, 2009. Investigations of California Department of Insurance actions have prompted concerns about the extent consumers are protected against inappropriate denial of coverage by disability insurers. The Los Angeles Daily Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on his perspective.
Professor Liang noted that CDI and other state agencies have an obligation to protect the public against suspect insurer actions if they occur to citizens of the state. He called for an independent assessment of CDI actions to determine if they have met their mandate of consumer protection.
The story is "Disabled Turn to State for Help, But State Turns Them Away," by Evan George in the November 20, 2009 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal.
San Diego Union Tribune Publishes Health Reform Opinion Editorial by Professor Bryan Liang
November 19, 2009. The respect for patients and improved provider communication is essential for patient safety. Yet these concepts have not been considered in the current health reform debate. Professor Bryan Liang published an opinion editorial in the San Diego Union Tribune on this topic.
He pointed to the poor patient experience scores of virtually all hospitals in the US as measured by the federal government. Dr. Liang called for mandated use of patient experience scores for inclusion in any federal health care program under health care reform, and minimum grade levels for reimbursement purposes. He concluded by noting that patient respect is also a matter of patient safety, and that both must be emphasized by any tenable lasting reform efforts.
The opinion editorial is "Report cards key to health reform," in the November 19, 2009 issue of the San Diego Union Tribune.
International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers Annual Meeting Features Professor Bryan Liang
November 10, 2009. The International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers held its Annual Meeting, "Thriving in a Survival Environment" in San Diego, CA. Of great interest to this group is anti-counterfeiting science, engineering, and policy. Because of his expertise crossing all of these disciplines, ISPE asked Professor Bryan Liang to share his thoughts on the state of technology and policy issues in anti-counterfeiting and the pharmaceutical industry.
Dr. Liang noted that means and methods such as RFID (radio-frequency ID tags), near-IR spectroscopy, and other efforts were important in advancing process application technology efforts. However, he noted that point of care testing, field assessment, and supply chain issues cannot be solved through technology alone. He called on engineers to work with their company's regulatory side as well as law enforcement to strategize on the role of technology in combination with supply chain realities in anti-counterfeting efforts.
Dr. Liang was invited to ISPE 2009 by Dr. Sharon Flank, CEO of InfoTrak. Their session was "Anti-Counterfeiting: Can Chemistry Trump Bureaucracy?".
Professor Bryan A. Liang Discusses Law and Medicine Issues at UCSD School of Medicine
November 10, 2009. The increasing influence and interaction between the legal system and medical practice are of great interest to physicians in training. Professor Bryan A. Liang provided an overview and discussed these issues with UCSD School of Medicine Class of 2011 students.
"Law in medicine is not only about medical malpractice anymore," said Professor Liang, who is both a physician and attorney. "Virtually all aspects of care are influenced by law--standards of care, financial incentives,end of life, and insurer activities. We need to understand these issues in order to be effective advocates for our patients."
Dr. Liang was an invited lecturer to the Introduction to Health Care Systems program at UCSD School of Medicine. He was invited by Professor Rick Kronick, UCSD Professor of Preventive and Family Medicine.
Drug Topics Features Comments on Health Care Reform and Importation by Bryan A. Liang
November 3, 2009. With the health care reform bills drafted and debate heating up, the impact on the drug supply is dominating discussions at all levels. One key area is the costs of drugs, and policies to address it such as importation. Drug Topics featured comments by Executive Director Bryan A. Liang on the issue.
Dr. Liang noted that importation is not a "safe" alternative, since the countries being contemplated have had significant issues with counterfeit and diverted drugs. He also notes that the American Pharmacists Association has opposed drug importation unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services can ensure safety, as required by law. Finally, Dr. Liang observed that failure of the importation policy will fall on the most vulnerable of patients, and called on pharmacists to discuss the issue with their elected representatives.
The story is "Healthcare Reform: Readers Speak Out," and is the cover story of the November 2009 edition of Drug Topics.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Gives Patient Safety and Transparency Lecture at UCSD
November 3, 2009. Key concerns about patient safety include systems issues and quality. But transparency is a fundamentally important basis as well. Professor Bryan Liang outlined these themes in a lecture to UCSD School of Medicine students.
Dr. Liang outlined the systems nature of health care, providing information about the theory of complex systems. But he then noted that any effort to improve system function, as well as serve the needs of the patient, requires transparency to identify vulnerabilities, keep communication lines open, and ensure patients are provided with ethically-mandated disclosure when error and injury occur.
Professor Liang was asked to speak by Rusty Kallenberg, MD, UCSD School of Medicine.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Gives Global Health and Pharmaceutical Issues Presentation
November 2, 2009. The challenges of ensuring drug safety is global. These issues affect regulatory structures and processes. Professor Bryan Liang was asked to present his perspective on the means to address these concerns arising from this intereaction.
Professor Liang first noted that geopolitical boundaries are the basis for regulatory rules, yet drug supply issues are global and globalized. Hence, already the foundation for ensuring drug supply safety is weak. He then outlined the difficulties with parallel trade, counterfeit drugs, and their impact on vulnerable patients who shoulder the risk of policy failure. He also pointed to the geopolitical risks of allowing the vast majority of drugs to be made outside the USA. He called for robust regulatory harmonization and international diplomacy efforts to begin to address these concerns.
Professor Liang's presentation was entitled, "Globalization of the Drug Supply: Counterfeit Drugs and Biopreparedness Challenges," in the Global Health I UCSD-SDSU Program on Global Health. Dr. Liang was asked to present by Professor Tom Novotny, Director of the Global Health Program.
KGTV-ABC !0 News Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang on Counterfeit Tamiflu
October 30, 2009. With increasing reports on the extensive nature of H1N1/A (Swine) Flu infections, patients are seeking anti-viral Tamiflu anywhere they can get it, including over the border in Mexico. However, there may be risks in doing so. KGTV-ABC 10 News interviewed Professor Bryan A. Liang on the topic.
Professor Liang noted that Tamiflu purchased over the border and on the Internet is likely to be fake. He indicated that much of the Tamiflu supply is under the control of the Mexican federal government, and Tamiflu now represents the most spanned drug in email solicitations. He cautioned patients to avoid these high risk sources and stick with local pharmacies.
Professor Liang was interviewed by Michael Chen, KGTV reporter.
WFRU Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang on Public Option Proposal
October 23, 2009. With the public option becoming more of a viable concept in Washington, questions are being raised about its viability. WFRU in Columbia, MO asked Professor Bryan Liang about his assessment of this alternative.
Professor Liang noted that Missouri has quietly established its own public option system, growing the program from a state employee program and extending it to local governments, in combination with a state based program that allows small business employees to maintain insurance, which has helped increase insurance coverage. This state-based approach may be a model for US efforts.
Dr. Liang was interviewed by Davild Lile on the WFRU Morning Show, WFRU.
84WHAS Discusses Health Care Reform Options with Professor Bryan A. Liang
October 21, 2009. The options being floated in Congress for healthcare reform are numerous. Yet insurance access may not solve the healthcare problems for many Americans. 84WHAS in Lousiville, KY asked Professor Bryan Liang for his thoughts.
Professor Liang noted that insurance access is not the same as healthcare access, and that insurers who have limited competition under current antitrust exemptions may simply deny care to reduce costs. He advocated for removing antitrust exemptions increase competition and permitting insurers to compete across state lines. He also indicated that a Medicare basic benefits package for all, with competition on any additional healthcare services and products beyond that basic benefits package would ensure adequate access to services while allowing competition to provide a greater range of options for those who want additional services.
Dr. Liang was interviewed by Francene Cucinello, host of The Francene Show, WHAS News.
IHLS Participates in Kids' News Day for Benefit of Rady Children's Hospital
October 20, 2009. The Institute of Health Law Studies was ready to hit the streets before the ink had time to dry on the daily San Diego Union Tribune. IHLS picked up 200 papers at the local distribution center for the 20th Annual Kids’ News Day and set out before sunlight to sell them on the corners of 3rd and Cedar Street downtown.
With the assistance of several law students from California Western School of Law, Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator stood with bundles of freshly printed papers on the street and began selling the papers for $1 each and any additional donation. Today’s paper was a special edition of the Union Tribune that featured the advances being made and lives being changed at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.
IHLS was able to raise funds to promote better healthcare for the San Diego community, including the 143,000 children in need. In addition, the effort brought awareness to the public that local efforts can make a difference in someone’s life through even a small donation.
CKTB Canada Discusses Health Care Reform with Executive Director Bryan A. Liang
October 20, 2009. Health insurance reform has attracted attention across the border in Canada. Canadians are interested in determining the chances for substantive reform in the US because of the potential impact on services within their borders. CKTB in St. Catherine’s, Ontario interviewed Professor Bryan Liang, who has worked in Canada on US-Canada health issues, for his assessment.
Professor Liang noted the key issue is insurer regulation and how it may affect denials of care requests by patients. He indicated that without attention to denials, and other barriers such as increased pre-authorization requirements for expensive disease treatment, even more patients may be left without access under health care reform.
Professor Liang was interviewed on CKTB News Hour by Stephanie Sabourin.
KMJ News Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Health Care Reform and Patient Access
October 20, 2009. Health care reform efforts have been promoted as increasing access to all citizens. Yet there may be weaknesses. Professor Bryan Liang was interviewed by KMJ Fresno on his perspective.
Professor Liang noted that with limited ability of insurers to “cherry pick” the healthiest patients, they will turn to their other major tool to reduce costs—simple denial of care. He called for a rigorous regulatory structure to ensure standard systems of accountability for these insurers as well as the government if they enter into health care provision.
Professor Liang was interviewed by Ray Appleton on the Ray Appleton Show, KMJ Fresno, CA.
San Diego Business Journal Quotes Professor Bryan A. Liang on Healthcare Reform Concerns
October 19, 2009. The challenges on the local and national levels with respect to health care reform have brought great concerns to health care business leaders. The San Diego Business Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the issues and an assessment of what may happen in the ensuing negotiations.
Professsor Liang noted that much of the business focus is upon stakeholder financial benefits and losses, despite rhetoric to the contrary. He also added that costs will rise but challenges to greater public involvement in health care are hollow since much of the health care delivered in the US is through government programs already.
The story is "Providers Fear Costs of Medical Reform Could Outweigh Benefits" by Marion Webb in the October 19, 2009 issue of the San Diego Business Journal.
KCBS Radio Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang on Access to Care Issues in Health Care Reform
October 19, 2009. Challenges on the national and local level with respect to health care reform are heating up as debate continues. KCBS San Francisco interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on these issues.
Professor Liang noted that without attention to private health care incentives to deny care or create barriers to re-enrollment of patients into plans, health care access by sick would be stymied. As well, he pointed to the current controversy in San Francisco with one group of providers being terminated by an HMO associated with UCSF due to financial concerns, putting patient access to care at risk.
Professor Liang was interviewed on KCBS News in San Francisco, CA.
Bryan A. Liang and Judith McCarter Publish Perspectives Pieces on Fraud and Abuse Compliance
October 19, 2009. Fraud and abuse costs hundreds of billions of dollars to the health care system each year. Yet the lack of standardization of regulator expectations makes compliance difficult. IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang and IHLS Research Associate Judith McCarter published a Perspectives piece in the Los Angeles Daily Journal that proposes reform in this critical area.
Dr. Liang and Ms. McCarter indicate that there is a business case for ethical business practice in the health care arena, including implementation of fraud and abuse compliance programs. They propose a standardized structure based on previous government model compliance programs for all health care business, and additional unique characteristics for each health care sector. In exchange for such implementation, government authorities would presume compliance with these laws. They would also make stimulus funds available for electronic internal audit implementation.
The piece is entitled "Cooperative Compliance: Healthcare Fraud and Abuse, in the October 19, 2009 issue of the Los Angeles Daily Journal on page 5.
KIRO Seattle Discusses Health Care Reform with IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang
October 19, 2009. Health care reform advocates are questioning current health reform efforts. KIRO Radio in Seattle interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on his perspective.
Professor Liang noted that federal law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, insulates insurers from denial of care damages claims of patients, and that reform proposals do not address insurer denials, increases in pre-authorization requirements for sick patients, or increases in premiums. He called for strict regulation of private insurers or a single payer structure to ensure adequate coverage for patients when they need care.
Professor Liang was interviewed by Dave Ross on the Dave Ross Show, KIRO Radio, Seattle, WA.
Los Angeles Times Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang on Adequacy of Healthcare Reform Efforts
October 19, 2009. Health care reform efforts continue apace. Yet questions still remain as to whether they are enough. The Los Angeles Times interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on his perspective.
Professor Liang noted that under current health care reform efforts, the system is still stacked against the patient. He noted that the strong role of private insurers will continue to allow incentives to deny care and create barriers for patients to receive it. He called for substantive reform that strongly regulates when care can be denied and how much insurers may charge sick patients.
The story is "Healthcare bills lack protections against treatment denials, experts say" by Lisa Girion in the October 19, 2009 edition of the Los Angeles Times.
San Francisco Daily Journal Quotes Professor Bryan A. Liang on Disability Insurer Story
October 13, 2009. Disability insurers have engaged in significant abuses in denying claims. An investigative report on these practices show tremendous challenges for beneficiaries to obtain benefits due to federal law. The San Francisco Daily Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the issue.
Professor Liang noted that insurers have little if any incentive to grant disability benefits even in the face of independent physician and Social Security Administration agreement the person is disabled. Review of insurer decisions under federal law have a low “abuse of discretion” standard. He called for an independent review assignment system that does not reward external reviewers for denying claims through repeat business.
The story is "Doctors Paid To Aid Insurers In Disability Claim Denials," by Evan George of the San Francisco Daily Journal. This story is Part II of the special investigative report on disability insurer practices.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Joins Editorial Board of Drug Topics
October 9, 2009. Professor Bryan A. Liang has joined the Editorial Board of Drug Topics. Drug Topics is a monthly publication that covers professional drug topics and policy for the pharmacy and pharmaceutical professional communities.
"This appointment is a great honor and opportunity," said Professor Liang on the announcement. "Drug Topics addresses issues on the cutting edge of the pharmaceutical and pharmacy world, and has tremendous impact in policy discussions in the US."
Dr. Liang was invited to the board by Margaret Mulligan, Editor-in-Chief of Drug Topics.
IHLS and HLS Reaches San Diego Blood Bank Life Level Four Member with Most Recent Blood Drive
October 8, 2009. The Institute of Health Law Studies and Health Law Society held its fourth blood drive of the year, with 29 successful donations for the event. With this most recent effort, IHLS and HLS reached the pinnacle group level possible for blood donations, the Life Level Four Member. LIfe Level Four Members exemplify the highest level commitment to community service and play a pivotal role in ensuring that our community has a plentiful blood supply available for patients in need.
"Many committed people provide blood for the benefit of patients," said Dr. Bryan Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies, and a former blood bank director. "But to reach this highest level of community service is truly a great accomplishment. IHLS, HLS, and the CWSL community of faculty, staff, and students should be proud to be part of this elite group."
Congressional Quarterly Researcher Story on Prescription Drug Abuse Features Comments by Professor Bryan A. Liang
October 8, 2009. The revelations of prescription drug abuse highlighted by celebrity deaths has promoted investigations by a wide array of policymakers. CQ Researcher in its focus research article on this topic featured comments by Professor Bryan Liang.
Professor Liang directed his comments on the scope of prescription drug abuse compared with illicit drugs. He also noted that there is tremendous unregulated demand through the Internet, and pointed to the challenges of legal responses to the problem. Finally, he noted that prescription drug abuse is growing alarmingly in the youth population, and that policymakers must act to prevent "young addicts, since young addicts become adult addicts."
The article is "Medication Abuse: Is tighter regulation of prescription drugs needed?," by Marcia Clemmett in the October 9, 2009 issue of CQ Researcher.
Los Angeles Times Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Transplantation Coverage Article
October 7, 2009. Challenges to denial of insurance claims such as transplantation have raised important policy issues for health care reform advocates. The recent case filed against Blue Cross California for denying such a claim for a patient who choose to relocate to Indiana for an improved chance at getting an organ has highlighted these concerns. The Los Angeles Times interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the issue.
Professor Liang noted that insurers choose particular groups and physicians to review these claims, often, as in this case, without transplantation backgrounds or experience. He added patients have little knowledge of how the system works, and so are often powerless to challenge these denials. He called for reform in this area based on required expertise to review challenged health insurer denials.
The story is "Patient sues Anthem Blue Cross over liver transplant" by Lisa Girion in the October 7, 2009 issue of the Los Angeles Times.
IHLS Participates in 3rd Annual Rady Children's Hospital Shamu and You Family Walk
October 3, 2009. The Institute of Health Law Studies, led by Program Administrator Pam Tait, once again participated in the Rady Children's Hospital Annual Shamu and You Family Walk. The IHLS "Whale Walkers" team raised almost $700 to help sick children in the San Diego community.
The IHLS team was one of the 157 that walked for the event. There were over 137 volunteers and together the Family Walk raised over $250,000. All proceeds will help support the life-saving efforts at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. IHLS has supported the Shamu and You Family Walk each year through team participation and volunteer efforts.
Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang Gives Emergency Public Health Powers Presentation
October 1, 2009. The challenges of pandemic flu, bioterrorism, and other public health emergencies require an attention to public health powers in disaster and emergency preparedness. Professor Bryan Liang gave a presentation in the seminar series, “Legal Lessons of Katrina & Other Natural Disasters.”
“Key to understanding public health legal powers in emergencies and disasters are the 5D’s: in these circumstances, public health providers have the power to “do [things to] and detain” individuals, “direct” professional activities, “determine” the use of private property, and “disclose” private healthcare information,” Dr. Liang explained. “These powers are critical in ensuring that an adequate response to unforeseen public health issues can occur.”
Professor Liang was asked by Professor Ken Klein of California Western School of Law to provide present on this topic for the series.
San Francisco Daily Journal Article on Pharmaceutical Executive Conviction Quotes Professor Bryan Liang
September 30, 2009. The closely watched trial of Scott Harkonen, the ex-CEO of InterMune, who was accused of wire fraud by federal authorities for statements made promoting unapproved uses of its product in press releases, resulted in a guilty verdict. The San Francisco Daily Journal asked Professor Bryan A. Liang to comment.
"This is a huge win for the Department of Justice, which has been trying to reign in illegal off-label claims for drugs by pharmaceutical companies," said Dr. Liang. "Beyond already fining the company $37 million, personal liability against executives should send a strong message that drug company officers cannot assume they are safe even if the company pays out millions in penalties," he added.
The story is "Biopharm exec is convicted," by Rebecca Beyer in the September 30, 2009 issue of the San Francisco Daily Journal.
Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang Quoted on KPBS Story on California Gender Rating Bill
September 29, 2009. As federal health care reform stalls, individual states are moving forward with their own efforts. The California Legislature has passed a gender rating bill and sent it to the Governor. The bill would prohibit individual health insurance plans from discriminating against women by charging them higher premiums. KPBS asked Professor Bryan A. Liang to comment.
"This approach of gender neutrality in health insurance premiums is not something new or unusual, since at least 10 other states have similar provisions," observed Professor Liang. "With health care reform wrangling and lack of progress on the federal level, it is important for states to lead the effort," added Professor Liang.
The story is "Two Bills Could Change California's Individual Insurance Market", KPBS. Professor Liang was interviewed by KPBS Health Reporter Kenny Goldberg.
IHLS Joins the Rady Children’s Hospital Miracle Makers Celebration at Humphrey’s by the Bay
September 23, 2009. IHLS was honored as part of the Miracle Maker at the Rady Children's Hospital Miracle Makers Celebration at Humphrey's by the Bay. The event celebrated all the outstanding fund raisers for the children in San Diego.
Through its many hours of fund raising and volunteering, IHLS reached the status as a Miracle Maker with Rady Children’s Hospital. As a Miracle Maker, IHLS enhances hospital morale, increases corporate and community awareness and enriches the lives of sick children. IHLS has built a healthy partnership for CWSL and Rady Children’s Hospital through its commitment to community service for this critical patient population.
Nature Biotechnology Interviews IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang on Biotech Drug Safety
September 21, 2009. New evidence suggests that safety issues are heightened with complex drugs known as biologics. Nature Biotechnology, the leading worldwide biotechnology academic journal, interviewed IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang on these findings.
Professor Liang noted that it was unsurprising that biologic drugs have greater risks due to their size and complexity. Dr. Liang also observed that the use of living organisms also contributes to the potential for adverse effects, and pointed to the Epogen case that resulted in patients not only being allergic to the drug, but also the resultant patient immune reactions to their own natural form. These findings point to the need for significant safety studies for any future new or "biosimilar" form of biotech drugs.
The story is "JAMA study casts cloud over biologic safety" by Jim Kling, in volume 27, pages 11-12 of Nature Biotechnology.
IHLS Provides Assistance to the Steve Open 6th Annual Tower Glass Golf Tournament
September 12, 2009. As the San Diego temperatures reached the 3-digit numbers, IHLS was out on the Steel Canyon Golf Course in Jamul to support the Rady Children's Hospital. At this community service event, there were 144 players in a four man scramble format that bore the heat as IHLS provided them liquids to keep hydrated and found them shade as they waited for their teams to tee off. At its peak, the heat reached 103 degrees but IHLS managed to keep the players hydrated and moving along the course.
All proceeds from the tournament went to assist children in the San Diego community through the Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation. IHLS participates regularly in supporting the Rady Children's Hospital activities and service events.
WBAL Radio Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Novel H1N1/A Swine Flu Issues in Schools
September 1, 2009. With the upcoming school year beginning, schools concerned with the novel H1N1/A (Swine) Flu transmission have adopted policies, including a “no touch” policy for students in an effort to prevent transmission. WBAL interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on his thoughts on this strategy.
Dr. Liang noted that the "no touch" policy was a tenuous idea at best, and asking students not to touch each other will not be an effective approach to limit infections. He also indicated that since the virus stays infectious for 2-8 hours on inanimate surfaces, a robust system of cleaning as well as traditional flu hygiene would be a better approach.
Dr. Liang was interviewed on the Shari Elliker Show, WBAL in Baltimore.
IHLS Partners with Rady Children’s Hospital in Cancer Care Center Fundraiser
August 20, 2009. In another community service project with Rady Chldren's Hospital, IHLS partnered with the Cancer Care Center to support the 6th Annual Dale Donnelly Memorial Golf Tournament. As part of this effort, IHLS representatives, including Program Administrator Pam Tait, managed the administrative process of checking in more than 100 golf participants arrived at The Riverwalk Golf Club, coordinated team foursomes for photos, and matched them up to their labeled course transport. It was a beautiful summer day in San Diego for all that attended.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan A. Liang noted that "this is the kind of community partnership IHLS is so very fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in." Dr. Liang also added that "our presence and particularly the leadership of Pam Tait has really allowed us to give back to those worthy patients and families who are courageously facing some of the most complex diseases and challenges to their health."
This was the 6th Annual Dale Donnelly Memorial Golf Tournament held by Rady's. The tournament helps to “restore, sustain and enhance the health and development potential of children” here in San Diego. Past tournaments have raised over $60,000 for this worthy cause. IHLS has worked with Rady Children's hospitals on numerous community events, including its Valentine Day Party for children and their families, and Pam Tait and Executive Director Bryan A. Liang serve on Rady's Auxilliary Board.
Bankrate.com Article on Student Health Insurance Quotes Professor Bryan A. Liang
August 20, 2009. As students go back to school, parents are faced with increasing costs. One area, student health insurance coverage, is a growing issue after a GAO report indicated many school-based plans are limited. Bankrate.com interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the topic.
Professor Liang indicated that many school programs have extremely limited coverage and have internal caps on services. He noted that the best solution for the vast majority of students is to keep their parents plan if possible. He called for colleges and universities to allow students to use their families' health insurance for the benefit of students, their families, and the schools themselves.
The story is "Campus health insurance or family plan?" by Melissa Ezarik, and was posted online at Bankrate.com on August 20, 2009. Professor Liang is also author of the report, "Crisis on Campus: Student Access to Health Care," forthcoming in the University of Michigan Journal on Law Reform. This report has been a Top Ten Downloaded paper (see "Professor Bryan A. Liang's Paper on College Health a Top Ten Downloaded Paper in Multiple Categories," a July 9, 2009 Institute Healthliner).
National Committee on the Prevention of Elder Abuse Appoints Professor Bryan Liang to Research Proposal Review Committee
August 14, 2009. The National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse appointed Professor Bryan Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies to its Research Proposal Review Committee. This committee is empowered to choose ten elder justice coalitions across the United States for funding.
"This is a wonderful opportunity to promote the goals of the NCPEA, including a broader role for elder justice coalitions," said Dr. Liang. "This function is an important part of the effort of the US Administration on Aging to address the key problem of elder abuse in the US."
Dr. Liang was invited to serve on the committee by Professor Pam Teaster, President of the NCPEA.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Quoted in Story on Governor's Line Item Vetoes
August 13, 2009. The budget woes of California continue despite an apparent agreement. Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg filed suit against Governor Schwartzenegger after the Governor used the line item veto to cut $400 million from the recently agreed on budget. The Los Angeles Daily Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on his reaction.
Professor Liang indicated that the key would be the definition of “appropriations” to ascertain the legality of the Governor’s efforts. However, he observed that this would likely cost taxpayers more money, and both sides should have addressed these issues before a final budget was sent to the Governor’s office.
The story is "Health Care Providers Pile on Budget Lawsuits Against Governor" by Evan George, in the August 13, 2009 edition of the Los Angles Daily Journal.
San Francisco Daily Journal Article on Pharmaceutical Executive Trial Quotes Professor Bryan A. Liang
August 11, 2009. With federal prosecutors gearing up for a criminal trial against a Dr. Scott Harkonen, a former drug company executive charged with fraudulent off-label promotion, the San Francisco Daily Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the case.
Professor Liang noted that there were specific laws prohibiting off label promotion, and there are clear lines about what can and can’t be said in communications regarding drug use in promotion. He also observed that criminal cases in this area are rare, and only egregious examples are those that are prosecuted.
The story is "Off-Label Drug Marketer Heads to Trial: Pursuit of Individual Criminal Charges is Unusual, Attorneys Say, and Raises Questions," by Rebecca Beyer, in the August 11, 2009 edition of the San Francisco Daily Journal.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Publishes San Diego Union Tribune Opinion Editorial on Insurance Regulations
August 9, 2009. The issue of health insurance rescission has garnered state and national attention. Recently, the California Department of Insurance announced new proposed regulations to address the issue.
However, Professor Bryan Liang notes in an opinion editorial in the San Diego Union Tribune that the law is already established, and no new regulations are needed. Instead, he called for more resources for aggressive enforcement action against offending insurers. He also called for an independent panel to review potential rescissions before they occur.
The opinion editorial is "Curing insurance ills: We need fewer words and more enforcement action," in the August 9, 2009 edition of the San Diego Union Tribune, on page B5.
Research Associate Tim Mackey and Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Publish Op Ed in San Francisco Daily Journal on Climate Change Technology Transfer
August 7, 2009. With Congressional proposals on the environment and the UN Climate Change conference looming, the issue of climate change and global mitigation of its impact has become increasingly important in international policy. Tim Mackey, IHLS Research Associate, and Professor Bryan Liang,IHLS Executive Director, in an opinion editorial in the San Francisco Daily Journal argue that more needs to be done to provide developing countries with “green” technology to assist in their economic development while simultaneously protecting the environment. Use of a “messenger model” and discounted climate change technology transfer can accomplish these goals while also providing flexibility for both the public and private sectors.
The opinion editorial is "The Green Light" in the August 7, 2009 issue of the San Francisco Daily Journal, page 6.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Interviewed by National Public Radio on Michael Jackson Story
August 4, 2009. The increasing revelations of Dr. Conrad Murray have made headlines as each day passes without a confirmed cause of death of Michael Jackson. Dr. Murray is the physician that was with Michael Jackson when he died and is the reported source of the controversial drug propofol that Jackson took for sleeping. NPR interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the medical-legal implications of the investigation.
Dr. Liang noted that the drug Dr. Murray was using is generally not used outside the operating room, and never in the home setting. As well, procuring drugs for Michael Jackson that were not medically indicated could place the physician in circumstances that allow for an involuntary manslaughter charge to be brought against him beyond civil lawsuits for malpractice.
Dr. Liang was interviewed by Robin Young, host of the NPR "Here and Now" program.
IHLS Reaches “Group Difference Life Level Three Member” Status with San Diego Blood Bank
July 30, 2009. Due to the third successful blood drive held on July 14, 2009, IHLS was recognized by the San Diego Blood Bank as a “Life Level Three Member.” This is a community service title provided to local San Diego groups that set out each year with a projected goal and have reached selected milestones in program support and outcomes. IHLS collaborates with its student organization, the Health Law Society each quarter to conduct an on campus blood drive.
Dr. Bryan A. Liang, Executive Director of IHLS, noted that “this community service recognition by the San Diego Blood Bank is a wonderful indication that our programs are on track and are benefiting San Diego patients.” He added that “as a former blood bank director, these partnerships in the community provide a significant benefit for patients because of the limited supply and constant need for these gifts of life.”
The highest level in the system is a Life Level Four Member Status, which IHLS will be seeking at its next blood drive on October 8, 2009.
WBAL Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Swine Flu and Vaccination Programs
July 29, 2009. The H1N1/Influeza A Swine Flu has recently been reported by the CDC to have caused one million infections and 300 deaths in the US this year. As the fall seasonal flu season comes closer, the development of vaccines and programs to address it have been discussed by the CDC. WBAL in Baltimore interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the progress of public health efforts.
Professor Liang noted that by August, the H1N1/A vaccine would be in testing and the planned roll out will be likely in October. He added that challenges as to getting people to get the vaccine and public health surveillance will test our systems, and will bear close monitoring to ensure effectiveness. He urged listeners to obtain both the regular flu shot as well as the Swine Flu vaccine.
Professor Liang was interviewed by Shari Elliker of WBAL. Dr. Liang has been a regular contributor to a wide array of media on public health issues, including the Swine Flu.
Los Angeles Times Story on Michael Jackson Death Quotes Professor Bryan Liang
July 20, 2009. Revelations about Michael Jackson's death, including the potential role a physician prescribing powerful anesthetics could have played, have made headlines around the world. Hence, the accountability of medical providers in celebrity cases has become more prominent in the case. The Los Angeles Times interviewed Professor Bryan A. Liang on the issue.
Professor Liang indicated that the process in the Jackson case, like Anna-Nicole Smith, may take years because of the required investigations and toxicology tests that must be associated with law enforcement activities. He also noted that generally, medical care providers are held accountable using the civil system rather than the criminal system, and state medical boards could sanction, censure, and revoke licenses of those involved if they find wrongdoing.
The story is "Murder charges in Michael Jackson case are unlikely, source says," by Jack Leonard and Harriet Ryan in the Sunday, July 19, 2009 edition of the Los Angeles Times.
IHLS and HLS Hold Blood Drive for San Diego Blood Bank
July 14, 2009. The Institute of Health Law Studies and the Health Law Society of California Western School of Law held a blood drive to assist the San Diego Blood Bank in its efforts to ensure patient access to life-saving blood and blood products. The Drive's goal was 22 units, and the IHLS/HLS efforts resulted in an even greater collection, with a total of 24 units collected.
"Once again, IHLS and HLS were able to assist in this key community effort," noted IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang. "The need for blood is constant, and there are always shortages. By continuing our commitment to service, we are able to contribute to ensuring the most needy have access to this life-saving and life-sustaining resource."
IHLS and HLS are strong supporters of the San Diego Blood Bank, holding several blood drives each year. Institute Program Administrator Pam Tait coordinates these efforts, and has led the collection activities for the last several years.
Professor Bryan A. Liang's Paper on College Health a Top Ten Downloaded Paper in Multiple Categories
July 9, 2009. Professor Bryan A. Liang's paper, "Crisis on Campus: Student Access to Health Care," forthcoming in the University of Michigan Journal on Law Reform, was a Top Ten Downloaded Paper in DSHE: Consumer Behavior; Insurance & Financing in Health Economics; MCM: Other Regulation-Consumer Markets; and Education Law: College & Graduate Education, in the Social Science Research Network/Economic Research Network. The Social Science Research Network and Economic Research Network represent the largest source of social science and legal scholarship on the Internet, representing hundreds of thousands of academic papers, both published and unpublished.
"It is extremely gratifying to see our work garnering the attention of the academic community," said Professor Liang. "The community of scholars that can benefit from our research helps us promote our mission to do relevant and important work that assists in informed policymaking."
This is not the first time Professor Liang has been the author of a Top Ten Downloaded Paper. Several other articles he has written have also been in this elite category.
IHLS 5th Annual Erizen Sei Bowles Feed A Friend Food Drive Begins
July 1, 2009. There are over 16,000 homeless men, women and children throughout San Diego County. During the summer months, the Alpha Project’s food bank is very low and they are in need of non-perishable food items. Starting July 1st and throughout the month of July, IHLS will be collecting food items to help replenish the food bank for our homeless community here in San Diego.
Institute Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang stated that "Our students here at CWSL take an active role in assisting with the food donations and they really help make a difference in our local community. This is an annual event and this will be our fifth year assisting in this key community effort."
The Erizen Sei Bowles Feed A Friend Food Drive is named after Erizen Sei Bowles, a former CWSL student and IHLS President, who lost his life in an accident three years ago. He had a special interest in the plight of the homeless. The Food Drive is coordinated by Pam Tait, Program Administrator of IHLS.
Federal Trade Commission Study on "Authorized Generics" Features Research by Professor Bryan A. Liang
June 25, 2009. The Federal Trade Commission recently issued a long awaited report on "authorized generic" drugs. These drugs are brand name-sponsored forms that may have anticompetitive effects on generic drug entry. In this report, the Federal Trade Commission featured research by Professor Aidan Holiis of the University of Calgary and IHLS Executive Director and Professor Bryan A. Liang. The FTC found that its analysis agreed with Professors Hollis and Liang's.
"It is quite gratifying that our work was found to be useful by the FTC," said Professor Liang. "The challenge of access to drugs is a key policy issue and of great interest to the Obama administration, and we are of course quite happy that the FTC came to the conclusions we did in our analysis."
The report is entitled, "Authorized Generics: An Interim Report by the Federal Trade Commission," June 2009. The study on which the FTC relied is Aidan Hollis & Bryan A. Liang, An Assessment of the Effect of Authorized Generics on Consumer Prices, Arlington, VA: Generic Pharmaceutical Association (2006) (reprinted as: Aidan Hollis & Bryan A. Liang, An Assessment of the Effect of Authorized Generics on Consumer Prices, 10(1) Journal of Biolaw & Business 10-18 (2007)).
IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang and Member Arlene Luu Give Elder Abuse Presentations at Southwestern School of Nursing
June 24, 2009. Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang and IHLS Member Arlene Luu gave elder abuse presentations at the Southwestern School of Nursing in Otay Mesa, CA. Professor Liang’s presentation was entitled, “Elder Abuse, Reporting, and Recognition: Using Patient Safety Principles in the Protection of the Vulnerable Patient,” and Ms. Luu’s presentation was entitled, “Assessing, Understanding, and Reporting Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse.”
Professor Liang noted that “there are no perfectly consistent signs and symptoms of elder abuse. But as providers, we can use our skills to identify clues that allow us to conclude whether there is reasonable suspicion of elder abuse.” He added that “it is not only our legal obligation to report elder abuse, it is also our ethical duty as healthcare providers with the privilege of treating patients.”
Ms. Luu added that “there are a lot of practical ways of determining when and how someone should report abuse. Each situation has to be evaluated individually, but no one can prevent you from reporting it.” Ms. Luu provided an extensive array of examples of abuse from recent and local newspaper accounts, and statistics on the prevalence of elder abuse.
Professor Liang and Ms. Luu have published extensively on the topic of elder abuse, and have given several training sessions on this topic. In addition, their educational presentations fulfill mandatory training requirements in this area.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Gives Plenary Presentation on the Future of Healthcare at Leadership Forum
June 23, 2009. Dr. Bryan A. Liang, Executive Director and E. Donald Shapiro Distinguished Professor at the Institute of Health Law Studies, gave a featured plenary presentation at the University of California San Diego Health Sciences Leadership Forum. His presentation was entitled, "Facing the Future: Healthcare Survival in an Uncertain Delivery Climate."
As indicated by Professor Liang, "we need to get the steps right in the business of healthcare. Providing the right care, to the right patient, at the right time most efficiently is the second step. The first step is getting the business." Professor Liang then outlined the critical changes in health care and health care reform that may make the delivery of medical care "go from a wholesale model, where large employers purchase care, to a retail model, where individual patients choose what services and service providers they will use." He outlined how healthcare providers must not only render good care, they must also be able to document that care. "We are increasingly being asked to prove the effectiveness of our efforts using a wide array of care scores," said Professor Liang. "We are particularly doing poorly at patient satisfaction, as are all healthcare providers. We need to see this as an opportunity to improve what we do and, importantly, how we can do it better for our patient populations."
Professor Liang is a noted expert on health policy, and has spoken to a wide array of groups on healthcare issues and reform. He is a physician, attorney, and health services researcher and works with healthcare organizations on quality, safety, and patient satisfaction issues.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Gives Professionalism in Audiology Presentation
June 22, 2009. Professor Bryan A. Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies, gave an invited presentation to the combined University of California San Diego-San Diego State University audiology students on the present and future professionalism issues in audiology. His presentation was entitled, "Ethics and Professionalism in Audiology: Choosing A Model."
"The law takes a strong view of financial conflicts of interest, and audiology is at a crossroads. With sales of a product vying with a desire for professionalism, a choice of either business ethics, to maximize profits, or professional ethics, to maximize social good, will dictate how the field will grow," he noted. He also added that "In the next 25 years, more people will be over the age of 65 than under 18. The graying of America will lead to more demand for audiology. What role the field will play in the future will be dictated by decisions today."
Professor Liang was asked to speak by Professor Jacque Georgeson, Director of the Audiology Clinic at UCSD-SDSU.
Visiting Scholar Professor Fusako Seki GIves Comparative Health Systems Presentation at IHLS
June 16, 2009. Professor Fusako Seki, a visiting scholar at the Institute of Health Law Studies, gave a comparative health policy presentation for the California Western School of Law and broader community. Her presentation was entitled, “Looking at the U.S. Health Care System from Japan.”
In her presentation, she provided an introspective assessment of the insurer system, contrasting the Japanese system of public financing and uniform access with the U.S. system of private financing and variations in access. She noted that the differential in access also extended to high level services, which are more available in the U.S., compared with Japan. She concluded that both countries face similar challenges, and both systems have something to learn from the other.
Professor Seki is a social security and social welfare professor at Yokohama National University in Japan. She received her PhD in law from the University of Tokyo.
North County Times Features Interview with Professor Bryan Liang in Hospital Lawsuit Article
June 6, 2009. The competition in health care has intensified the focus on provider arrangements. However, diversion of emergency cases from in-network providers and other facilities cannot occur unless patients brought to an emergency room are given an appropriate medical screening examination and stabilized. Tri-City Hospital is in a conflict with Scripps Health in a case involving changed contracting providers and claimed inappropriate emergency transfers. The North County Times interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the implications.
He noted that under federal law, patients must be stabilized and given an “adequate” medical screening examination before transfers from one emergency department to another hospital can occur. Further, under state law, patient must have “reasonable access” to care. Although contracting relationships allow in-network limitations, emergency cases and patient health cannot be jeopardized by these contracts.
The story is "Hospitals: Law Professor Sees Mixed Bag in Hospital Suit," by Paul Sisson in the June 6, 2009 edition of the North County Times.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang and Research Associate Tim Mackey Publish Op Ed on Cybersecurity and Drug Safety
June 4, 2009. The Obama adminstration recently announced efforts to coordinate cybersecurity measures for the protection of U.S. citizens. Professor Bryan Liang and research associate Tim Mackey published an opinion editorial in the Los Angeles Daily Journal noting that this effort ignored a crucial patient safety concern: the purchase of medicines online.
Professor Liang and Mr. Mackey noted that this billion dollar industry involves tremendous criminal elements, risks the health and safety of patients, can result in identity theft, and creates a system of drug pushing from the streets to cyberspace. They also point out that search engines, unethical providers, and others profit off these sales with virtual impunity. They called for more intensive regulation and accreditation of Internet drug sellers using federal law.
The opinion editorial is entitled, "Searching for Cybersecurity: Accountability for Illicit Online Drug Sales," in the June 4, 2009 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal, page 6.
Congressional Testimony Features Research of Executive Director Bryan A. Liang
June 3, 2009. The healthcare reform debate has focused significantly on the cost of pharmaceuticals, and particularly on the price differences between brand name drugs and generics. However, policymakers are debating whether "authorized generics," i.e., generics sold by brand name companies during a period of legally-created sales exclusivity for independent generic drugs that successfully challenged brand name patents, should be allowed.
Professor Bryan A. Liang's research showed that drug prices were the roughly same when prohibiting authorized generic sales during the exclusivity period. His legal analysis also indicated that independent generic exclusivity should include brand name drug forms, including authorized generics. This work was cited in testimony in front of the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy by Heather Bresch. Her testimony was entitled, "Pay to Delay: Are Patent Settlements That Delay Generic Drug Market Entry Anticompetitive?" on June 3, 2009.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Discusses Transplantation Policy Issues in California Lawyer Article
June 4, 2009. The criminal charges of dependent abuse in the Ruben Navarro case against transplant surgeon Dr. Hootan Roozrokh sent shockwaves through the medical transplant community. California Lawyer interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the legal and policy implications of the case.
Professor Liang indicated that a significant part of the problem was the lack of standardization of transplant protocols, and the need for better public education on the systems in place for transplants. He also noted that this will become an increasingly important issue as the population ages, and the needs for transplants increase.
The article is "Cutting It Close: How a small-town DA’s office raised disturbing questions about the harvesting of organ," the cover story of the June 2009 issue of California Lawyer, by Tom Nichols.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Interviewed by KPBS on Department of Insurance Regulation
June 3, 2009. Illegal rescissions of health care insurance continue to attract policymaker attention. New regulations proposed by the California Department of Insurance have been released to address the issue. KPBS interviewed Professor Bryan Liang to get his reaction.
Professor Liang noted that the most important aspect of the announced regulations is that they may signal a commitment to enforcement of current law in this area. He added that the regulations closely mimic a 26 year old California Supreme Court case, and the regulations substantively are not different from the rights beneficiaries already have.
The story is "New Regulators Aimed At Preventing Health Insurers From Terminating Policies," by Kenny Goldberg, KPBS Health Reporter.
Los Angeles Times Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang on Proposed Insurance Rescission Regulations
June 3, 2009. The illegal rescission of individual health policies continues to be an important policy issue. Anticipating the next California gubernatorial election, and reacting to national media coverage on the issue, Department of Insurance Commissioner Steven Poizner released proposed regulations to stem this practice. The Los Angeles Times interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on his reaction to these regulations.
Professor Liang noted that the standards in the regulations already represent established law under a 1973 California Supreme Court decision. He indicated that the key to reigning in the illegal industry-wide practice is for regulators to aggressively enforce these legal obligations.
The story is "Proposal would combat rescissions of health insurance policies in California," by Lisa Girion in the June 3, 2009 issue of the Los Angeles Times.
Professor Bryan A. Liang's Article on Internet Drugs Sellers Is Top Ten Downloaded Paper
June 1, 2009. Professor Bryan A. Liang's paper, co-authored with Research Associate Tim Mackey, "Searching for Safety: Addressing Search Engine, Website, and Provider Accountability for Illicit Online Drug Sales," published in volume 35 of the American Journal of Law & Medicine this year, was a Top Ten Downloaded Paper, in the Public Goods & Regulation in Health Economics, Social Science Research Network/Economic Research Network. The Social Science Research Network and Economic Research Network represent the largest source of social science and legal scholarship on the Internet, representing hundreds of thousands of academic papers, both published and unpublished.
"Having our work downloaded so extensively means, hopefully, that our work is substantive and of interest to the broader academic community," said Professor Liang. "The mission of IHLS includes research and advocacy in order to have an impact on health policy, and we are gratified that the attention to our work is consistent with this mission."
Executive Director Bryan Liang Gives Presentation on Substandard Drugs at Canadian Pain Conference
May 29, 2009. Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang gave a presentation at the Canadian Pain Society Annual Conference "Pain-Translating Science into Care" in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. His presentation was entitled, "Pain, Therapeutic Failure, and Risks of Substandard Drugs: A Policy Analysis."
"Traditionally, therapeutic failure in control of pain is usually attributed to human variation associated with the underlying disease state and its effects on the human body," said Professor Liang. "However, with the globalization of the drug supply, vulnerabilities have arisen that include fake or substandard drugs, or unfettered patient access through the Internet resulting in overuse and dampening of their effects."
The Canadian Pain Society is an international organization of basic scientists and clinical providers performing research on pain mechanisms, therapeutics, and public policy.
Professor Bryan Liang Interviewed for Today/MSNBC.com Story on Generic Drug Safety
May 26, 2009. The globalization of the drug supply has resulted in challenges to safety and quality of medicines. However, not only new, brand name drugs are impacted, but so are generic drugs. In a story for the Today Show/MSNBC, Katherine Eban, an investigative reporter, interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the issue.
Professor Liang noted that the limited inspection of overseas factories for generic drug manufacture is a huge regulatory loophole. He observed this is particularly risky today, as 90% of newly approved generic drugs are now manufactured overseas. He called for a much greater and more aggressive enforcement of generic drug manufacturers offshore, beyond simply setting up offices in foreign countries where access may still be limited.
The story is "Are generic drugs a bad bargain?," by Katherine Eban, available here.
Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang Interviewed by Los Angeles Daily Journal for Insurance Rescission Story
May 21, 2009. As the first trial court case for health insurance rescission has started juror selection, increased attention on the case has begun. The Los Angeles Daily Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang, a noted expert in the area, for his perspective.
Professor Liang noted that the case is unprecedented, and that usually insurance cases settle or go through arbitration. He observed that for an insurer to bring a case to trial is highly risky because juror sympathies lie “with the Davids, rather than the Gioliaths.”
The story is "Health Care Rescission Case Goes to Trial: Potential Jurors Show Why Health Cases Don't Go to Trial," by Evan George, on page 1 of the May 21, 2009 issue of the Los Angeles Daily Journal.
Professor Bryan A. Liang's Op Ed on Follow On Biologics Published by US News & World Report
May 18, 2009. The debate on healthcare reform has encompassed proposals to create a new approval pathway for “follow on biologic” drugs, which are copies of large scale protein biological drugs. However, there are challenges to adopting such a pathway using small, chemical pills and generics as the model.
Professor Bryan Liang outlined the scientific, medical, and policy concerns of follow on biologic drugs, and pointed to reforms that would ensure patient safety in his opinion editorial in the US News & World Report. He noted that legislative reforms must take into account the unpredictability of adverse events associated with new copies of biological drugs. Dr. Liang called for a unique naming system to rapidly identify drugs that could be associated with adverse drug events.
The opinion editorial is entitled, "High-Tech Medicines, Built to Mirror Originals, Can Have Dangerous Differences," in the May 18, 2009 issue of the US News & World Report.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Interviewed for LA Times Story on Health Insurance Rescission Trial
May 18, 2009. The first trial court case associated with health insurance rescission of individual policies has begun. With the national focus on health reform, the case has garnered significant attention. The Los Angeles Times interviewed Professor Liang on the ramifications.
Professor Liang noted that taking such as a case to trial may be a strategic misstep for the insurer. Given that there are significant risks of bad faith and punitive damages available, he said the jury may send a very clear accountability verdict to the insurance industry in this case.
The articles is "Blue Shield health insurance rescission case to go to trial," by Lisa Girion in the May 18, 2009 edition of the Los Angeles Times.
Professor Bryan Liang Interviewed by KPBS on Limited Participation in Insurance Rescission Settlement
May 14, 2009. The attention to the limited effectiveness of the California Department of Managed Health Care settlements within insurers who illegally rescinded patient insurance policies continues to increase. KPBS interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on these settlement results.
Professor Liang indicated that the limited participation in the settlements, coupled with the delays of regulations on the practice of rescissions indicates significant problems in the regulatory system. He called for an independent panel convened by the Legislature to assess and investigate the settlement, and provide recommendations for improving the process to ensure accountability for the insurers and appropriate benefits for patients.
Professor Liang was interviewed by Kenny Goldberg, KPBS Health Correspondent.
Los Angeles Daily Journal Interviews Dr. Bryan Liang on "Public Policy Failure" in Insurance Rescission Settlements
May 14, 2009. The illegal practice of health insurance recession by insurance companies has resulted in settlements between insurers and the California Department of Managed Health Care. Yet on analysis, only a small percentage of patients have actually obtained the benefits from these settlements. Professor Bryan Liang, a noted expert on the topic, was interviewed for his reaction.
Professor Liang noted that these figures were very disturbing, and represented a "public policy failure." He also indicated that this result represented a systemic problem with settlement implementation. He called for an independent panel to review the process to ensure that insurers are fully accountable for their previous illegal actions.
The story is "Despite Settlements, Rescission Victims Lack Relief: Rescission Victims Still Lack Coverage, Payments Despite Legal Settlements," by Evan George of the Los Angeles Daily Journal, May 14, 2009 issue, page 1.
NBC Radio Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang on Healthcare Reform
May 7, 2009. With the increasing debate on health care reform, differing strategies are emerging. NBC Radio interviewed Professor Bryan Liang to review the options and what should be done.
Professor Liang noted that aggressive outreach for those already eligible for public insurance would cover 12 million persons, including 75% of uninsured children. Further, tax credits to allow employers to offer health insurance for low income workers and subsidies to purchase insurance based on sliding scale needs testing would cover millions more. He commented that reform is currently being stymied by partisan bickering, and that the issues of access must be addressed through achievable means to help patients now.
Wisconsin Radio KCUB Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang on Swine Flu Developments
May 7, 2009. Public health authorities have updated figures on swine flu, showing infections in 41 states and 2 reported deaths in the US. KCUB interviewed Professor Bryan Liang to obtain his observations on this new information.
Professor Liang noted that the infection rates in Mexico were leveling off, and that US cases continued to be mild. However, he indicated that we should not let down our guard, since the southern hemisphere is starting its winter months and the flu may mutate and become more virulent in the flu season this winter. He also noted that the 1918 pandemic that killed greater than 20 million people worldwide also started as a mild flu that then recurred in a much more virulent form.
Professor Bryan Liang Publishes Opinion Editorial on Health Care Reform
May 5, 2009. The significant attention to healthcare reform has engendered debate as to what areas to focus upon. Professor Bryan Liang published an opinion editorial on the topic.
Professor Liang noted that two key areas are of greatest concern for costs and health of the US population: addressing chronic disease and the need for aggressive preventive health efforts. He outlined a proposal that includes a focus on wellness programs through tax incentives, early intervention, and aggressive public health education on disease prevention.
The piece is entitled, "Prevention and Education Programs Will Drastically Reduce Health Care Costs," in the May 5, 2009 edition of the San Francisco Daily Journal, page 6.
Executive Director Bryan Liang Interviewed on Swine Flu Concerns
May 4, 2009. With the announcement of a larger numbers of individuals with swine flu, concerns have been raised on its transmissibility and impact. Professor Bryan Liang was again interviewed about these developments.
Dr. Liang noted that cases were still mild outside of Mexico, but that we must stay vigilant and continue to assess the time frame for development of a vaccine. He noted that the virus could still mutate to become more infectious and deadly, and that with the coming winter months in the southern hemisphere, the country still needs to be prepared for a ore virlent strain to ememerge in the next flu season.
Professor Liang was interviewed by WKMA in Iowa and WRTA in Pennsylvania.
IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait Attends IMQ Provider Conference as Appointed Mentor
May 1,2009. IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait attended the California Institute for Medical Quality 2009 Provider Conference in Sacramento. This conference is held every year to recognize outstanding health providers and their mentors. Pam Tait is an IMQ appointed mentor for all organizational providers. In this role, she assists new and currently accredited CME providers who have questions and concerns regarding state standards.
IHLS is accredited to provide CME credits to medical professionals. It is the only law program in the US to be granted the power to grant continuing medical education credits.
Dr. Bryan A. Liang Discusses Widening Swine Flu Impact and Pandemic Potential
April 30, 2009. With the World Health Organization upping the swine flu level to 5 of 6, worldwide concern about the potential for a pandemic has dramatically increased. Professor Bryan Liang was interviewed for his insights on this new development.
Professor Liang noted that with established and sustained human-to-human transmission, WHO recognized the need to move the level up to signal countries to implement their emergency preparedness plans. Dr. Liang emphasized that hygiene, minimizing contact with ill patients, and avoiding non-essential travel to Mexico continued to be key strategies to limit the impact of the flu. He also advised that persons consolidate their routine trips, and consider alternative options for school-aged children and child care to limit exposure to public areas.
Professor Liang was interviewed by multiple stations, including WBAL (MD), WNNR (GA), WSCA (SC), KXL (National syndication), KZSC (CA), WSAU (WI), and WABC (National syndication).
IHLS attends Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary New Member Meeting
April 28, 2009 IHLS attended Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary new member meeting at the hospital. The Auxiliary provides support for the hospital programs by hosting fund raisers and supporting staff with their children-based programs. Both the Executive Director Bryan A. Liang and Program Administrator Pam Tait will join the “members at large” auxiliary group for 2009. They will continue to attend monthly meetings and support all children programs.
IHLS has participated in and supported the Rady Children's Hospital in numerous programs, including the annual Valentine's Day event since its inception.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Interviewed by Multiple Radio Stations on Swine Flu Concerns
April 28, 2009. The worldwide swine flu that originally was first reported in San Diego has increasingly caused concern for public health officials and the community around the country. Professor Bryan Liang was interviewed on the disease and implications for an effective response.
Professor Liang noted that the disease has been mild outside of Mexico, where dozens of patients have died. However, public health agencies have recommended that good personal hygiene, avoiding contact with those who are ill, and limiting non-essential travel to Mexico were key steps to contain the disease’s impact. However, he cautioned that the situation was dynamic, and that closely following the international developments was important to mitigate the circumstances and harm associated with transmission.
Stations that interviewed Professor Liang included nationally syndicated station WABC, and Connecticut stations WDRC, WMMW, WWCO, and WSNG.
IHLS Supports Kiwanis Run for Charity
April 26, 2009. IHLS assisted the La Jolla Kiwanis Club in its the 38th La Jolla Marathon Run held on April 25-26, 2009. IHLS helped 6,000 half marathon runners pick up their race packets as well as distributed t-shirts to all participants, including an additional 2,000 5K runners on Saturday, April 25th.
In addition, on Sunday, April 26th, IHLS assisted with all runners' apparel in Del Mar prior to the race and then shuttled them down to the finish line at the La Jolla Cove. At the Cove, IHLS assisted at the water station and at the finish line. The weather was perfect for the runners and it was a sold out event.
All proceeds from the Kiwanis Run are used to benefit youth and elder programs in the community.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Gives Presentation and Serves on Panel on Anti-Counterfeiting at PhRMA Law Section Meeting
April 22, 2009. Professor Bryan Liang was a featured speaker at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of American's Law Section Annual Meeting. In addition, he served on an expert panel on counterfeit drugs at the meeting.
"The issue of counterfeit drugs is a public health scrourge that must be addressed here and around the world for patient safety purposes," Professor Liang noted. "To reform the current inoptimal response, public-private partnerships must be a cornerstone for effective prosecution and public protection."
Dr. Liang's presentation was entitled "Counterfeit Drugs: Issues for Public Policy." In the panel discussion that followed, entitled "Perspectives on Anti-Counterfeiting Initiatives for Pharmaceutical Products," he was joined by Julie Chalkin Hogan, Assistant Statewide Prosecutor, Florida Attoney General Office of Statewide Prosecution, and Evan Williams, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section, Criminal Division, U.S. Deaprtment of Justice.
Executive Director Professor Bryan Liang Publishes Op Ed on Preventive Care and Health Reform
April 15, 2009. With the debate on health reform in full swing, critical high cost areas are gaining attention. Professor Bryan Liang published an opinion editorial on the aggressive use of preventive care strategies to improve health.
Dr. Liang noted that chronic disease disproportionately consumes most of the health care dollar in the US. Citing data on the beneficial clinical and financial impacts of early intervention and preventive care, he called for tax incentives for employers to offer their employees wellness programs, and AdCouncil efforts to improve public education on the impact of preventive care.
The op ed is entitled "Prevention the best medicine," in the April 14, 2009 edition of the Winona Daily Times. The piece was also picked up by several other media outlets across the United States.
Florida Newspaper Publishes Op Ed by Professor Bryan A. Liang on Student Health Bill
April 14, 2009. The increasingly apparent issue of uninsured students on campus has led to legislatures closely assessing approaches to improve access to health care. Professor Bryan Liang published an opinion editorial supporting these efforts in Florida.
Professor Liang noted that the student age group has one of the highest levels of uninsured across populations. However, he also noted that colleges and universities also create a "shadow uninsured" group who actually have private insurance but are prohibited from using it on campus. Schools thus represent intensified levels of uninsured. He called for support of two Florida bills that would allow students to use their private insurance on campus, and surpluses that result from such billing to be used to provide health insurance financial aid. Dr. Liang assisted in drafting one of these bills.
The opinion editorial is entitled "Addressing the shadow uninsured: college student access to health care," in the April 14, 2009 edition of the Florida Community News.
Los Angles Daily Journal Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Health Insurance Billing Disputes
April 13, 2009. Insurer actions to avoid payment or negotiation of provider fees by paying patients directly have become a increasingly common strategy to limit out of network costs. The Los Angeles Daily Journal interviewed Professor Bryan Liang for his reaction on this approach.
Professor Liang noted that such an approach puts the power of determining fair compensation solely in the insurer’s hands. Further, the practice implicates the prohibition against balance billing. He called for regulators to clarify the legality of this approach.
The story is "Blue Cross Pays Patients in Bill Disputes: Providers Say the Program Wreaks Havoc on Industry," by Evan George, in the April 13, 2009 issue of the Los Angeles Daily Journal, page 1.
IHLS and HLS Hold Blood Drive to Support San Diego Blood Bank
April 2, 2009. With the increasing need for blood and blood products in the San Diego area, the Health Law Society and Institute of Health Law Studies conducted its second blood drive for 2009. With projection goals being set at 16 units, HLS and IHLS managed to collect 29 units on the day. Within these collections there were 8 double red units collected which is highly desirable at this time.
"As a former hospital blood bank director, I know how serious and important a shortage of blood and blood products represents," said Dr. Bryan Liang, E. Donald Shapiro Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies. "These continuing efforts by students and staff will go a long way to saving patients' lives."
The IHLS/HLS blood drives are advertised in the CWSL community as well as the San Diego community. Most of the donors were students during this drive. The donations benefit the San Diego Blood Bank and patients in the San Diego area.
Los Angles Daily Journal Publishes Follow On Biologics Opinion Editorial by Professor Bryan Liang
April 1, 2009. President Barack Obama has announced new efforts to improve the economy and underwrite health care reform, including use of “follow on” biologics, which are similar but not exact copies of large, high tech biological drugs. Professor Bryan Liang wrote in an opinion editorial on this critical topic.
Dr. Liang noted that the assumed savings of $9 billion dollars may not materialize because of the size, scientific status of drug characterization, and unknown side effects inherent in these drugs. The challenges of these biological drugs also include the fact that they may induce allergic reactions in patients because often these drugs are large protein molecules, rather than small relatively simply solid chemical pills obtained at the pharmacy. Finally, Dr. Liang also called for unique identifiers for these “follow on” forms to allow rapid identification and notification if patient safety issues arise.
The opinion editorial is "Plan for High−Tech Prescriptions Ignores Grave Safety Concerns," in the April 1, 2009 issue of the Los Angeles Daily Journal on page 6.
IHLS Hosts 5th Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference on Bio-Preparedness
March 27, 2009. The Institute of Health Law Studies hosted the 5th Annual Health Policy Conference, "Bio-Preparedness: Issues in Biowarfare and Pandemic Response." The conference was held at the Hilton Harbor Island Hotel in San Diego.
Executive Director of IHLS Professor Bryan Liang noted that "This is an especially important and timely event for all of us. Local factors, such as the extensive military presence here in San Diego, as well as national and international factors, such as avian flu and bioterrorist events, show us that bio-preparedness has unique characteristics that require us to look across people, affiliations, and roles to effectively plan for these kinds of disasters and emergencies."
The event drew participants from around the world, including Europe, Asia, as well as North America. Presenters included Dr. Michael Christian, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada, who discussed SARS lessons for pandemic planning and bioterrorism from both an academic and treatment coordination approach; Dr. Christian Sandrock, University of California, Davis Medical Center, who raised questions on ethical and equal care in a pandemic on the basis of his clinical work as well as being in leadership roles in the Yolo County Health Department; Lt. Commander James A. Balcius, who provided information on public health law and medical military assets, including an analysis of the legal concerns in federalizing national guard personnel; Dr. Marv Sheperd, College of Pharmacy, Univesrity of Texas at Austin, who reported on disasters, bioterrorism, and prescription drug access in emergency situations using lessons from Hurricane Katrina and Ike; Dr. Randall Murch, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, who gave an extensive presentation on national and international components of biosecurity on the basis of his academic work and FBI leadership, field, and forensics experience; Dr. Thomas Novotny, Global Health, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, who provided insights into global governance for biopreparedness on the basis of his research and former position as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services; and Dr. Bryan A. Liang, Institute of Health Law Studies, California Western School of Law, San Diego Center for Patient Safety, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and Global Emergency Preparedness and Response Program, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, who discussed the international drug production and supply chain, and its challenges for biopreparedness and international diplomacy efforts.
In addition to IHLS hosting the event, the 5th Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference was supported by the San Diego Center for Patient Safety, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the Journal of Biolaw & Business, and the Partnership for Safe Medicines. The proceedings of the conference will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Biolaw & Business.
IHLS Executive Director Bryan Liang and Member Arlene Luu Give Elder Abuse Seminars at Southwestern Nursing School
March 23, 2009. The Institute of Health Law Studies provided an elder abuse education seminar to the Southwestern School of Nursing in Otay Mesa, CA. IHLS Executive Director Professor Bryan A. Liang, and IHLS Member Arlene Luu, RN, BSN, JD, of Kaiser Permanente, presented information about the signs and symptoms of elder abuse, and potential legal and policy concerns for nurses involved in senior care.
"It is nurses who spend the most time with patients, and are often the only contact with the outside world," said Professor Liang. "The combination of isolation and greying of our population has created a targeted population for abusers," he added. Ms. Luu noted that the system of care and vulnerabilities that may provide challenges to safety as well as expose the provider to liability.
Professor Liang and Ms. Luu have a broad base in elder care issues. They have published articles on improving quality and safety in health care for the senior population that have appeared the the Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy as well as the Journal of Medicine & Law. Professor Liang serves on the Board of Directors of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.
Native American Times Publishes Op Ed by Professor Liang on Health Care Reform Proposal
March 16, 2009. The Obama administration recently released its long awaited budget, including its massive health care reform provisions. Professor Bryan Liang commented on key components in this budget that reflect the needs of minorities and other vulnerable populations in an opinion editorial in the Native American Times.
Professor Liang, in a "Dear Mr. President" format, noted that aggressive outreach for minority groups should be a first priority for health care reform since more than three-quarters of children and other uninsured citizens are already eligible. He also warned against focusing on political motivated solutions such as drug importation and approving "generic" versions of complex biological drugs, which put the risk of policy failure that focuses on cost savings on the most vulnerable patient groups.
The opinion editorial is "Letter to President Obama: The Right Medicine for Health Care Reform" in the March 16, 2009 edition of the Native American Times. Professor Liang has a long standing interest in minority health, including service on the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Minority Health.
Institute of Health Law Studies and Health Law Society Participates in Rady Children's Hospital St. Patrick’s Day Run
March 14, 2009. The Institute of Health Law Studies and student Health Law Society participated in the Rady Children's Hospital St. Patrick’s Day Run. The team’s name this time was the IHLS Green Machine.
Some of the team ran a 2 and 4 mile fun run with one leading student, Mr. Cameron Rhudy, completing the full 10K with a time under one hour. It was a beautiful day at Mission Bay that brought thousands of participants out to support such a worthy cause.
The IHLS Green Machine hosted a bake sale prior to the event to raise money for their registration. The walk benefited the life-saving efforts of Rady Children's Hospital and their treatment of critically ill children.
U.S. Pharmacist Webinar on Counterfeit Drugs Features Executive Director Bryan A. Liang
March 13, 2009. With the increased attention to drug costs and recent scandals associated with problematic medications, the issue of counterfeit drugs has become an important one for pharmacists. U.S. Pharmacist hence convened a webinar featuring noted expert Bryan A. Liang to discuss the problem.
"The counterfeit drug market has matured from faking lifestyle drugs such as Viagra to lifesaving drugs such as cancer therapies," said Professor Liang. "Pharmacists represent one of the last barriers to harm. They must educate and communicate with their patients, as well as remain vigilant about the developments in this key patient safety area."
The webinar was attended by over 200 pharmacists nationwide. Professor Liang is also the Vice President for the Partnership for Safe Medicines, an organization that promotes safety of the drug supply.
Professor Bryan A. Liang Participates in Webinar on Billing College Campus Health Centers
March 12, 2009. The policy debate regarding the uninsured has traditionally ignored the college-aged population. However, recent findings on the scope of high uninsured levels and overrepresentation in minority groups in higher education have raised attention to this issue. University Business held a webinar on the topic to discuss the implications, and the potential billing of third party insurers by schools to increase revenue as well as student access to care.
"Billing private health insurers -- through which 80% of students obtain coverage except while on campus -- benefits the student and the school," said Professor Liang. "Schools that reject this traditional elite calling card actually add to the numbers of uninsured on campus, since these students will act like typically uninsured students. To help the student body, we should be focusing on methods to address their healthcare needs -- and accepting their insurance is an important first step," he added.
Professor Liang was joined by Paul Ferguson, health center administrator of Georgia Southern University, and Harold Wittington, Vice President of Highland Campus Health Group.
Institute Sponsors Team in the California Innocence Project Dodge Ball Tournament
March 9, 2009. The Institute of Health Law Studies sponsored and entered a team of 7 participants to play in the annual California Innocence Project dodge ball tournament. The team’s name was the IHLS Drug Lords. The players were dressed in black and gold Drug Lord T-shirts, black bandanas and black undercover sunglasses.
The competition this year was intense but the team was ready for the heavy slinging of balls. It wiped the opposition out the first game with only losing one of our players. It them tied the second round to go to a tie breaker. During the third round the opposing team knocked out the IHLS team muscle resulting in a loss. The second round of play was no problem as the team was so intimidating that caused the opposition to a no show, so The Drug Lords won the round. However, on single elimination with other winning teams, the team did put up a fierce fight but was knocked out of the competition.
The tournament is a fundraiser for California Innocence Project, which assists wrongly convicted citizens to establish their innocence in the justice system.
Editorial by Professor Bryan Liang on Campus Health Coverage Published in University Business
March 1, 2009. With the advent of national insurance reform on the policy front burner, the hidden issue of access to healthcare on campus has gone unnoticed. Professor Bryan Liang published an opinion editorial in University Business to alert the policymaking community to the issue.
Profesor Liang noted that college-aged adults are disproportionately represented in the ranks of the uninsured. But the poor programs and limited benefits available in school-sponsored programs, as well as the inability for students with insurance to use it on campus, have created tremendous issues of access to health care for students. He called on policymakers to recognize these "shadow uninsured" and act to promote the health of students.
The opinion editorial is entitled, "Covering the Shadow Uninsured: What institutions can do to help ensure the health of their student bodies," in the March 2009 issues of University Business.
Los Angeles Times Quotes Professor Bryan A. Liang in Story on Excessive Insurance Rates
February 18, 2009. With the worsening economy, more people are looking to last resort health insurance options. Under HIPAA, insurers must offer their most popular coverage options to people whose COBRA coverage has run out, regardless of pre-existing conditions. California state law limits the premiums to be charged in these situations. However, some insurers are exceeding these amounts by 36%-55%. The Los Angeles Times interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on these findings.
"It has been clear by legislative history and policy that there was a bright line rule to be put into place on premiums," said Dr. Liang. "The whole point of the legislation was to ensure access to insurance. Excessive premiums in contravention of state law undermines that provision, and must be addressed."
The story is "Insurers exceed state-issued rates for last-resort health coverage," by Lisa Girion of the Los Angeles Times.
Institute of Health Law Studies Collaborates with Rady Children's Hospital Heart Institute
February 14, 2009. The Institute of Health Law Studies collaborated on the Second Annual Rady Children's Hospital Heart Institute Valentine Party. This is the second year in a row that IHLS has been a main participant in this communicty service event.
Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator with 11 Health Law Society students stuffed and handed out over 300 heart bags to pediatric heart patients and their families. The heart bags were designed and donated by IHLS this year . IHLS used the “go green” idea for the bags by constructing them from recycle coffee bags lined with teddy bear print. In addition, IHLS volunteers staffed several expo booths throughout the day. These included: a Home Depot booth that volunteers assisted patients and their families construct bird houses and book ends to take home. The IHLS members set up a bear bag toss game that generated fun and prizes for attendees. Inside the cafeteria we had several volunteers staff a “make your own bag” table where participants could stamp, color or paint a holiday bag to take home. Last but not least, a few members assisted with the food concessions as the lunch hour rolled around. It was a fabulous day filled with fun, laughter and lots of love!
IHLS continues its focus on community service. For additional information on events, contact Pam Tait, IHLS Program Administrator, for future projects.
Executive Director Bryan A. Liang Interviewed by KPBS on Health Net Settlement
February 12, 2009. The issues surrounding the individual insurance market in California took yet another dramatic turn with the announcement of the settlement with Health Net of over 800 insurance rescissions. KPBS interviewed Executive Director Bryan A. Liang on its implications.
"Clearly, this settlement will set a new standard with respect to all the pending cases on rescission in the state," said Dr. Liang. "With reinstatement of policies, damages payments to patients, $2 million to the state, $500,000 to charity, the bar is raised for all future suits against insurance company rescission practices," he added. "However, I think it would be insane for any insurance company to want to bring a case like this to court to allow 12 jurors to express their frustrations about the health care system."
The story is "Health Net Pays Out Millions to Settle Class Action Suits," by Kenny Goldberg of KPBS.
National Public Radio Interviews Professor Bryan A. Liang on College Health Insurance Story
February 5, 2009. The increasing costs of attending college includes the cost of health insurance. Yet colleges and universities do not accept private health insurance and often force students to purchase the school's plan. National Public Radio interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the implications of this situation.
"Although 80% of students in higher education have private health insurance through their parents or otherwise, this elite calling card becomes worthless in many cases once the student arrives on campus," Dr. Liang said. "Further, school-sponsored plans vary tremendously in coverage and quality," he added. "Schools should fulfill their fiduciary duty of being good stewards of students' money and accept private health insurance, and not force them to buy coverage they already have." Professor Liang noted this could be a win-win situation for schools and students. "In fact, by doing this, schools can create a surplus that then can be used to provide health insurance scholarships for uninsured students."
The story is "Colleges Health Insurance Fees Questioned," on the February 5, 2009 edition of NPR's Morning Edition.
IHLS and HLS Hold Blood Drive to Support San Diego Blood Bank
February 3, 2009. The Health Law Society and Institute of Health Law Studies held a blood drive in support of the San Diego Blood Bank. HLS and IHLS collected 32 pints of blood for the community. These consisted of 20 whole blood and 10 double reds units collected. The amount exceeded its goal by more than 30%.
"As a former blood bank director, I know how much community blood drives really provide the gift of life," said Professor Bryan A. Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies, who is also a physician. "The efforts of HLS and IHLS provide so many patients with health benefits that they could not obtain any other way."
The IHLS/HLS blood drive is a quarterly event that involves the participation of faculty, staff and students at the Institute of Health Law Studies.
Institute of Health Law Studies Begins "Warm A Heart" Clothes Drive for the Needy and Homeless
February 1, 2009. The Institute of Health Law Studies began its annual "Warm A Heart" clothes drive today. Each year, IHLS collects clothes to assist the needy and homeless.
"In these hard economic times, the Institute's 'Warm A Heart' clothes drive is even more important than ever," said Executive Director Bryan A. Liang, "Although giving back to the community is always important, the demand for assistance has recently really increased, and we are fortunate to be able to contribute our part to address some of community's needs."
The "Warm A Heart" Clothes Drive continues throughout the month of February. Cannisters in the 350 Cedar Street Building are marked for donations. The "Warm A Heart" Clothes Drive is coordinated by IHLS Program Administrator Pam Tait.
California Lawyer Quotes Executive Director Bryan A. Liang In Health Insurance Rescission Story
February 1, 2009. The tremendous attention given to health insurance rescission has prompted private litigation and public reform efforts. California Lawyer interviewed Professor Bryan Liang, a noted authority, on this trend.
Professor Liang indicated that rescission in the individual health insurance market has been increasing as this market grows larger due to a greater number of employers dropping health coverage for their employees. He also stated that the combination of private and public litigation has created a new system of enforcement that may be effective in reigning in insurance company abuses.
The story is "Coverage in Tatters," by Jeannette Borzo in the February 2009 issue of California Lawyer.
Rady Children's Hospital Advanced Trauma Symposium Features Presentation by Professor Bryan Liang
January 30, 2009. The Rady Children's Hospital Advanced Trauma Symposium featured a presentation by Professor Bryan Liang on emergency preparedness and response pre-planning and the challenges of disaster outcomes after they occur.
"Emergencies and disasters require us to understand how we will dedicate resources in a time of extreme scarcity. It is critical for us to know what system of allocation we will use, whether it be life priority, even chance, or the military model," he noted. "Transparency is key to an acceptable albeit imperfect outcome when all cannot be saved."
But Professor Liang emphasized that hindsight perceptions can be harsh. "As noted in the Dr. Anna Pou Katrina case, the lenses can be tinted quite critically to allow even criminal prosecution of those who attempt to treat in the most difficult of all situations," he said. "We need to remember that when pre-planning for how we respond to emergencies and disasters."
Dr. Liang's presentation was entitled, "In the Darkest Day and the Blackest Night: Planning and Perspectives on Emergency and Disaster Response." He was invited to speak by Mary Hilfiker, MD, PhD, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Rady Children's Hospital.
Dr. Bryan Liang Gives Public Health Lecture at University of California San Diego Preventive Health Seminar Series
January 30, 2009. Dr. Bryan Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies and E. Donald Shapiro Distinguished Professor, presented a lecture on the scope of public health powers in the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine-San Diego State University School of Public Health Preventive Health Seminar Series.
"Public health powers are based on the state police powers in the US Constitution," said Professor Liang. "These give public health professionals significant power to protect the public health. But in emergencies and disasters, those powers are even more expanded, so that individual rights, professional rights, private property rights, and privacy right all give way."
Dr. Liang's presentation was entitled, "Legal Issues and Powers In Addressing Public Health Emergencies." In addition to being on the faculty of California Western School of Law, he is also on the faculty at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health.
Professor Bryan Liang Meets with Florida Officials on Strategies to Combat Pharmaceutical Fraud
January 23, 2009. Professor Bryan A. Liang, Executive Director of the Institute of Health Law Studies, met with State of Florida prosecutors to discuss strategies to combat pharmaceutical fraud and promote patient safety. Dr. Liang is a well-recognized expert on the challenges of drug supply chain security, and testified in the Papito case, where Florida prosecutors obtained a 20 year sentence for illegal diversion of drugs.
"Florida has some of the best laws and investigative talent in fighting pharmaceutical fraud," said Professor Liang. "In combination with some of the policy and industry efforts and recognition of important international trends, we can develop a system that can be proactive in ensuring that patients get the legitimate drugs they need and criminals are prosecuted for defrauding patients and the public who pay for these drugs."
Dr. Liang met with Ms. Julie Hogan and Mr. Oscar Gelpi of the Florida Office of Statewide Prosecution. Ms. Hogan was the prosecutor in the Papito case, and Mr. Gelpi was one of the authors of the Florida 17th Statewide Grand Jury Report, which was a catalyst for legislative change to address pharmaceutical fraud in the state.
KPBS Radio Interviews Professor Bryan Liang on Multi-State Conscience Clause Lawsuit
January 16, 2009. The outgoing Bush Administration has proposed "conscience clause" regulations that would allow providers to refuse to provide services or products that violated their moral or ethical beliefs in federally funded medical care programs. Several states, including California, have joined a lawsuit to prevent implementation of the regulations. KPBS radio interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the issues involved in the suit.
Professor Liang noted that although providers have the right to their own moral and ethical beliefs, he indicated that states were concerned that access to healthcare and women's rights would be compromised. This is particularly true because there are no provisions to address emergency circumstances within the proposed regulations. Professor Liang stated that belief systems of any person are covered by the US Constitution, but cannot "serve as a blockade at the hospital doors."
Professor Liang was interviewed by Kenny Goldberg, KPBS health law reporter.
Los Angeles Times Quotes Professor Bryan Liang on California Supreme Court Balance Billing Case
January 9, 2009. The California Supreme Court weighed in on the issue of provider "balance billing" for emergency medical care when patients are not using the health plan's network. In this closely watched case, the California Supreme Court held that emergency physicians and hospitals could not bill patients for amounts not paid by their health plans or insurers. The LA Times interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on the decision.
Professor Liang indicated that the holding was probably appropriate, and that payment disputes between providers and plans for out of network emergency services should not put the onus on patients. However, he noted that the court avoided the critical issue of what payment is "fair and reasonable" for out of network emergency care as required by California law. He indicated that the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance would have to define this, since health plans and insurers cannot unilaterally determine what this amount should be.
The story is "Ruling removes billing headache from emergency room visits," by Lisa Girion in the January 9, 2009 issue of the Los Angeles Times.
Professor Bryan Liang Interviewed by Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News on Drug Safety
January 6, 2009. Safety of the drug supply has emerged as a significant policy issue for the new administration. Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News interviewed Professor Bryan Liang on what to expect from the Obama team.
Profesor Liang noted that Obama will likely take an aggressive regulatory approach to safety rather than rely on voluntary industry efforts. Professor Liang also noted that issues with foreign importation of drugs and foods that have been the subject of poor quality and safety will likely weigh on discussions regarding packaging and other methods to ensure safety.
The story is "New Year, New President, New Packaging?" of the January 6, 2009 issue of the Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News.