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New Jersey Enacts Data Privacy Law for Health Insurance Carriers

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed a law requiring health insurance carriers in that state to encrypt individuals' personal information. This new law will be enforced in conjunction with the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA), and failure to obey the law will be classified as a violation of the NJCFA, which could result in financial penalties for the carriers. The new legislation may also affect business associates through the contractual terms of business associate agreements.… Continue Reading

County Ordinances Place Responsibility for Collection of Unwanted Pharmaceuticals on Manufacturers

The Alameda County (CA) Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance (Alameda County Code Chapter 6.53, §§ 6.53.010-6.53.120) is one of several county-wide regulations across the United States to enforce the establishment of and/or participation in Product Stewardship Plans on the part of pharmaceutical manufacturers, with the ultimate goal of collecting unwanted drugs for purposes of disposal. The … Continue Reading

Omnibus Spending Bill Promises Increased Funding for Ebola Response in FY 2015

On December 16, 2014, President Obama signed into law an omnibus spending bill that will provide funding across the federal government in the remainder of FY 2015. The bill includes $5.4 billion designated for several regulatory agencies - including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health and Department of State - to use in response to the Ebola epidemic, on both a national and international scale.… Continue Reading

Proposed HELP Committee Bill Aims to Incentivize Development of Ebola Treatments and Vaccines

In light of the recent Ebola outbreak and concerns over health safety, members of the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee have introduced a bill that would add Ebola to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) priority review voucher program, which is designed as an incentive for developers of treatments and vaccines … Continue Reading

Innocent Co-Insureds Coverage Not Void Under Fake Doctor’s Application

Reed Smith’s Policyholder Perspective blog recently posted about an October 21, 2014 ruling in the U.S. District Court in South Carolina that sounds as if it came from a Hollywood film. In Evanston Insurance Company v. Agape Senior Primary Care, et al., 2014 WL 5365679, the court held that despite a false application for professional … Continue Reading

New California Amendment Aims to Increase Breach Responsibility and Accountability

A recently enacted law in California is designed to expand the scope of requirements for entities that own, license, and maintain data or information about a resident of the state. This amendment to the California Civil Code, scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2015, was passed in the wake of several recent high-profile security breaches at such retailers as Target, Neiman Marcus, and The Home Depot.… Continue Reading

Law360 Article – U.S. and French Sunshine Laws Present Compliance Challenges for Manufacturers

In “From Sea to Shining Sea: French and US Sunshine Laws,” (Law360 subscription required), Reed Smith attorneys Elizabeth Carder-Thompson and Daniel Kadar discuss recent legislation from both sides of the Atlantic designed to increase the transparency of relationships between drug and medical device manufacturers on one hand and physicians and teaching hospitals on the other. … Continue Reading

UK Government Addresses Lack of Regulation and Legislation in Cosmetics Industry

In April 2013, an independent review of the regulation of cosmetic interventions in the UK was published, highlighting an insufficient amount of regulation in this industry by the UK government, due in part to the rapid growth of cosmetic procedures in the United Kingdom. Cases such as unauthorized (and potentially defective) materials being used in … Continue Reading

A Comparison of the U.S. and French Sunshine Reporting Requirements

This past year both the U.S. and France enacted substantial new reporting and disclosure requirements under their respective Sunshine Acts, which were designed to increase the transparency of the financial relationships between manufacturers and health care professionals and to allow patients to make more informed decisions regarding their health treatments. The U.S. and French Sunshine … Continue Reading

Something to Give Up for the New Year: Pennsylvania Hospitals May Forgo Some DOH Licensure Reviews

With the arrival of 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Health ("DOH") is now authorized to grant "deemed status" for licensure purposes to hospitals that have been accredited by national accreditation organizations, such as The Joint Commission. This past July, Governor Corbett signed Act 60 of 2013 ("Act 60") into law, which amends the Health Care Facilities Act to require DOH to accept hospital surveys and inspections conducted by national accreditation organizations designated as acceptable to DOH in lieu of DOH's regular licensure renewal surveys. In addition, Act 60 extends the term of licensure from two years to three years for all Pennsylvania hospitals.… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Decision on Reverse Payments has Significant Implications for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers

Reed Smith’s Global Regulatory Enforcement Law Blog recently featured a detailed analysis of the Supreme Court’s decision in FTC v. Actavis, where the court ruled five-to-three that reverse payments, also called pay-for-delay settlements, can violate antitrust laws and are subject to antitrust review under the rule-of-reason. As reverse payments are commonly used by branded drug … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Decides Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett

As reported on Drug and Device Law Blog, in a five-to-four decision by Justice Alito, the Supreme Court has decided Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett, No. 12-142, slip op. (U.S. June 24, 2013), a generic drug preemption case out of the First Circuit where that court had permitted the plaintiffs to recover on a “design defect” … Continue Reading

Seeing the Light With the Physician Payment Sunshine Act

On February 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the long-awaited final rule implementing the physician payment transparency provisions, commonly referred to as the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, in the Obama administration’s 2010 health care reform legislation. The Sunshine Act joins the list of significant federal laws addressing potential conflicts of interest … Continue Reading

New Jersey Appropriations Committee Approves Off-Label Drug Coverage Legislation

On March 7, 2013, the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee approved legislation related to off-label drug coverage. Assembly bill A1830 would require health benefits plans offered to individuals and small employers, the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) and the School Employees' Health Benefits Program (SEHBP), to provide coverage for certain off-label uses for drugs that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The health plans would be required to provide coverage for off-label use of a drug if the drug is recognized as being medically appropriate for the specific treatment for which is has been prescribed in one of two established reference compendia (the American Hospital Formulary Service Drug Information or the U.S. Pharmacopeia Drug Information), or if the drug is recommended by a clinical study or review article in a major peer-reviewed professional journal. According to bill sponsor Herb Conaway M.D., "the purpose of [the] bill is to extend the medical benefits that may derive from the use of off-label drugs to individuals who may not be able to access these medications. In particular those individuals who are suffering from a terminal or chronically debilitating illness, because their insurance carriers won't cover these drugs." The full text and status of the bill are available here.… Continue Reading

House Approves ACA Device Tax Repeal Bill in Face of Veto Threat

This post was also written by Ruth N. Holzman and Angelo Ciavarella. Yesterday the House approved by a vote of 270-146 legislation to repeal the ACA’s controversial 2.3% excise tax on the sale price of certain medical devices, which is scheduled to apply to sales after December 31, 2012. The repeal provision is included in H.R. 436, the … Continue Reading

House Leaders Plan June Vote on ACA Medical Device Tax Repeal

This post was also written by Ruth N. Holzman and Angelo Ciavarella. A vote on legislation to repeal the ACA’s medical device excise tax could come in June, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced today.  The ACA imposes a 2.3% excise tax on the sale price of medical devices sold by the manufacturer, producer, or importer of the … Continue Reading

Update: New Hampshire State Senate Hearing on Prohibition of Certain Physician Relationships with Medical Device Companies

The New Hampshire State Senate held a hearing on April 19, 2012 regarding HB 1725, a new measure that would prohibit all health care practitioners from prescribing or referring any U.S. Food and Drug Administration class II or class III implantable medical device if the practitioner stands to "profit indirectly or directly from the sale of [the] medical device by any supplier in which the health care practitioner has a direct or indirect ownership interest."… Continue Reading

New Hampshire Quietly Considers Prohibition Of Physician Relationships With Medical Device Companies

On March 29, 2012, the New Hampshire House of Representatives recommended for passage HB 1725. If passed, HB 1725 would prohibit all health care practitioners from prescribing or referring any U.S. Food and Drug Administration class II or class III implantable medical device if the practitioner stands to profit, directly or indirectly, from the sale of the device, or from performing any procedure involving the device.… Continue Reading

Increased Scrutiny for the 510(k) Process

On November 14, 2011, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing called "Medical Devices: Protecting Patients and Promoting Innovation." The hearing focused on the continued viability of a medical device clearance process that clears for market medical devices that are "substantially equivalent" devices to previously cleared devices (also known as the "510(k) process," in reference to the statutory provision governing this process). Class III medical devices not cleared through this process must undergo the more rigorous and time-consuming Premarket Approval process. Among the issues considered were whether the 510(k) process sufficiently evaluated the safety of devices when clinical data is not necessarily always considered or part of the submission; whether high-risk medical devices should always be considered for the 510(k) process; the user fees for medical device applications; strengthening post-approval monitoring requirements; and the resources and needs for the FDA and the Center of Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) in reviewing, clearing and approving medical devices.… Continue Reading

Tort Reform In Texas: Loser Pays Rule Signed Into Law

With a hat tip to the California Civil Justice Blog, earlier this week Texas enacted a "loser pays" system that proponents say will help rid the system of meritless cases. House Bill 274 takes effect September 1, 2011 and directs the Texas Supreme Court to enact rules providing for the early dismissal of "causes of action that have no basis in law or fact on motion and without evidence." For cases that fall within this "no basis in law or fact" category, the trial court may award the prevailing party costs and "reasonable and necessary attorney's fees . . . that the court determines are equitable and just" whenever it grants or denies a motion to dismiss, in whole or in part. Given the rulemaking yet to occur and the discretion vested in the trial courts in whether to award fees, the exact contours of this law will take some development, and it remains to be seen whether Texas civil litigants will be ordered to pay attorneys fees rarely or with some frequency. Still, an interesting experiment in civil justice reform that will bear watching.… Continue Reading

IRS Extends to June 10 the Deadline for Submitting Error Reports on Branded Prescription Drug Sales

On Friday, May 27, 2011, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") issued Notice 2011-46 (the "Third Notice"), which extended to June 10, 2011 the deadline to submit error reports in accordance with the dispute resolution process established with respect to the preliminary fee calculation of the 2011 fee imposed on certain manufacturers and importers of branded prescription drugs.… Continue Reading

Tort Reform Heats Up with Hearing in the Senate Judiciary

The National Law Journal's article "Torts once again on the front burner in the House" discusses the March 24, 2011 U.S. House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on tort reform. The hearing, entitled, "Can We Sue Our Way to Prosperity?: Litigation's Effect on America's Global Competitiveness," once again opens the debate regarding the US tort system. Topics included a bill that would cap non-economic damages in cases of medical malpractice, and a hearing on the yet-to-be-introduced Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, a proposal to implement mandatory sanctions of attorneys who violate civil procedure's Rule 11 against filing frivolous claims.… Continue Reading

Sunshine in Litigation Act to Senate Judiciary

In February we noted that the perennial "Sunshine in Litigation" bill had been introduced again. The Senate version in S. 623 and the House version is H.R. 592 but there is no real difference. It now is scheduled for consideration in Senate Judiciary on May 5 at 10:00 a.m. A link to the webcast should be available then from the relevant Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and meeting page.… Continue Reading
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