By Hyeongsu Park and Kathy Wang
- In a Time article, Maia Szalavitz expresses concern that two recent First Amendment cases could threaten the ability of FDA and the states to regulate drugs and medical therapies. In one case, the Second Circuit overturned the conviction of a drug company representative for illegal sales practices related to off-label promotion, citing free speech concerns. In the other, the Ninth Circuit issued a preliminary injunction against a new California law that bans gay conversion therapy for teens.
- Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts on Friday proposed new laws to strengthen state control of compounding pharmacies, in the wake of the meningitis outbreak caused by a contaminated drug made in Massachusetts.
- In a NY Times column, Paul Campos, a professor of law at the University of Colorado, questioned the popular understanding of the relationship between weight and mortality risk by introducing the meta-analysis published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
- Last Friday, Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan signed a new law that will increase state oversight of abortion clinics and establish a screening protocol to make sure women are not being forced to get an abortion.
- In an interpretation of the new health care law, the Obama administration said Monday that employers must offer health insurance to employees and their children, but will not be subject to penalties if family coverage is unaffordable to workers.
- Many hospitals are not happy about the deal reached between Congress and the White House on New Year’s Day because they will have to bear nearly half of the $30 billion cost to avert a 26.5% payment cut for Medicare physicians. However, the agreement is good for small, rural hospitals as it extended for one year a program that pays hospitals that have fewer than 100 beds, are located in rural areas, and treat a high proportion of Medicare patients up to seven million dollars each year.
- Kansas is pressing a man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple to make him pay child support despite his prior waiver of paternal rights/responsibilities. The issue centers on a state law that requires sperm to be donated through a licensed physician in order for the father to be free of child support obligations, whereas this man simply gave a container of semen to the couple without visiting a doctor.