Reforming Brazilian Pharmaceutical Patent Policy:
Lessons from the Past and the Road for the Future

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:00 PM
Lectures and Panels
Wasserstein Hall 1010
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

In this lecture by Pedro Paranaguá, he will discuss the report issued by the Brazilian House of Representatives in 2013…

Read More

Dallas Buyers Club:
Free Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 6:00 PM
Lectures and Panels
Wasserstein Hall 1010
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Students from across Harvard were invited to view a free screening of the Academy-award winning film Dallas Buyers Club and participate in…

Read More

Why Most Brazilian Women Get C-Sections

The Atlantic, April 14, 2014
by Olga Khazan

RECIFE, Brazil — When Ivana Borges learned she was pregnant, she told her obstetrician that she wanted a natural birth. Her mother had delivered five children without surgery or medication,…

Read More

UK drug company Glaxo ‘paid bribes to Polish doctors’

BBC News, April 13, 2014

Eleven doctors and a GSK regional manager have been charged over alleged corruption between 2010 and 2012. A former sales rep said doctors were paid to promote GSK's asthma drug…

Read More

European Union Debates Initiative on Embryo Protection

New York Times, April 10, 2014
by James Kanter

BRUSSELS — A packed hearing on a petition calling for the protection of human embryos led to a rare outbreak of raucous exchanges in the European Parliament on Thursday —…

Read More

WHO Calls For High-Priced Drugs For Millions With Hepatitis C

NPR, April 9, 2014
by Richard Knox

Authors of the first-ever global guidelines for treating hepatitis C went big Tuesday, advocating for worldwide use of two of the most expensive specialty drugs in the world. The new guidelines from…

Read More

Italian court overturns divisive ban on donor eggs, sperm

Reuters, April 9, 2014
by Naomi O'Leary

Italy's constitutional court overturned a ban on using donor sperm and eggs in fertility treatments on Wednesday, knocking down part of a divisive set of restrictions on assisted reproduction. The…

Read More

Big pharma fights back from China scandal (reprint from Financial Times), April 3, 2014
by Andrew Ward and Patti Waldmeir

When Chinese authorities accused GlaxoSmithKline last summer of being the “godfather” at the centre of a network of corruption, big pharma braced for a prolonged period of turmoil in one…

Read More

Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Generic Drug Case

New York Times, March 31, 2014
by Andrew Pollack

As the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has been critical of brand-name manufacturers that try to block generic versions of their high-priced medicines. But Teva is…

Read More

Child Euthanasia Law in Belgium First to End Age Limits

BloombergBusinessweek, March 26, 2014
by Andrea Gerlin

Stefaan van Gool has treated brain tumors in children for almost 20 years. None of his young patients has asked for help to die. The Belgian doctor is now bracing…

Read More

Disputing Study, U.S. FDA Says Generics From Abroad Safe

Bloomberg News, March 25, 2014
by Anna Edney

A top U.S. regulator is discrediting research published a year ago that found impurities in dozens of generic heart drugs made overseas, saying the investigators contaminated the samples during their…

Read More

Institution to discuss probe into STAP stem cell controversy

LA Times, March 13, 2014
by Monte Morin

It was hailed as a remarkable scientific breakthrough, one that could potentially revolutionize medicine by enabling the speedy production of highly versatile stem cells. Now, barely two months after scientists…

Read More

Haitians launch new lawsuit against UN over thousands of cholera deaths:

The Guardian, March 11, 2014

The United Nations is facing a huge new lawsuit over the outbreak of cholera in Haiti that has widely been blamed on its peacekeepers, after 1,500 Haitian victims and their…

Read More

China Cracks Down on DNA Testing

Forbes, March 3, 2014
by Shu-Ching Jean Chen

Genetic testing has grown to be a business big enough in China to warrant the government’s intervention. Early in February, the government quietly put the brakes on the provision of…

Read More

The First Issue of Journal of Law and Biosciences Is Now Available!

Petrie-Flom Center, February 27, 2014

We are pleased to announce that the first issue of Journal of Law and the Biosciences (JLB) is now available online. The articles are: Knoppers, Bartha M., Edward S. Dove, &…

Read More

Tough EU smoking rules approved:

BBC, February 26, 2014
by James Gallagher

The rules, voted in by the European Parliament, mean picture health warnings will have to dominate the front and back of all packaging. There will also be a ban on…

Read More

Indian medicine, coming soon to an island near you

BMJ, February 25, 2014
by Suzy Frisch, quoting I. Glenn Cohen (Petrie-Flom Faculty Co-Director)

[...] NH will open a hospital in the Cayman Islands in February in partnership with Ascension Health, the largest non-profit provider in the US. Shetty and David Pryor, president and…

Read More

The “Problem” with the European Problem/Solution Approach to Inventive Step

Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association, Wegner's Writings, February 24, 2014
by Harold C. Wegner, reviewing Timo Minssen (Petrie-Flom Visiting Scholar)

From the review: Patent applicants seeking to gain global patent protection beyond their home country borders need a better comparative knowledge of key elements of the patent laws of the several…

Read More

Hospital records of all NHS patients sold to insurers:

The Telegraph (London), February 23, 2014
by Laura Donnelly

The medical records of every NHS hospital patient in the country have been sold for insurance purposes, The Telegraph can reveal. The disclosure comes days after controversial plans to extract…

Read More

New Directions for Food Safety:
The Food Safety Modernization Act and Beyond

Friday, February 21, 2014 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Austin Hall, Ames Courtroom (200)
1515 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required. To register, please…

Read More

The Dream of Retiring Abroad, With Good Health Care

New York Times, February 21, 2014
by Tim Gray

For the well-traveled, the idea of retirement abroad can seem an idyll. You pick a place you’ve loved visiting, whether it’s the thrumming avenues of Paris or the sunny strands…

Read More

Patents Without Patents:
Regulatory Incentives for Innovation in the Drug Industry

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 12:00 PM
Lectures and Panels
Wasserstein Hall 1015
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Watch Event Recordings

In the pharmaceutical industry, patents are the preeminent incentive for innovation in developing new drugs.  But patents aren’t the whole…

Read More

Children with cancer ‘denied drugs because of EU rules’:

BBC, February 10, 2014

The UK's Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) says the current system acts as a disincentive to drug companies who can seek waivers to avoid doing the trials. Of 28 new…

Read More

Novartis puts pressure on India over patent abuse

Financial Times, February 16, 2014
by Andrew Ward and Amy Kazmin

Novartis has urged US and European governments to “apply pressure” on India to respect intellectual property and warned New Delhi that its stance on patents is deterring investment. Joe Jimenez,…

Read More

Undocumented Injustice?

NEJM, February 13, 2014
by Michael J. Young, M.Phil. (Petrie-Flom Academic Fellow), and Lisa Soleymani Lehmann, M.D., Ph.D.

Quelino Jimenez came to the United States at 18 years of age, seeking work to provide financial support to his family of 11 in Mexico. Jimenez found a construction job…

Read More

Belgium’s parliament votes through child euthanasia

BBC, February 13, 2014

Parliament in Belgium has passed a bill allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children without any age limit, by 86 votes to 44, with 12 abstentions. When, as expected, the bill…

Read More

Australia genetically modified crops row goes to court:

BBC News, February 11, 2014

Steve Marsh said he lost organic certification on 70% of his farm after GM canola seeds blew over from Michael Baxter's farm in 2010. Mr Baxter's lawyers say the organic…

Read More

Della Wolf is B.C.‘s 1st child with 3 parents on birth certificate:

CBC News, February 10, 2014
by Catherine Rolfsen

A Vancouver baby has just become the first child in British Columbia with three parents listed on a birth certificate. Three-month-old Della Wolf Kangro Wiley Richards is the daughter of…

Read More

Think Again: Prostitution:

Foreign Policy, January 19, 2014
by Aziza Ahmed (Petrie-Flom Visiting Scholar)

Prostitution may be the world's oldest profession, but there is still little agreement on the social and moral legitimacy of commercial sex. There are, of course, those who consider sex…

Read More

FDA halts drug imports from India’s Ranbaxy plant

NBC News, January 23, 2014
by Associated Press

U.S. health regulators said Thursday they are barring imported drugs from an overseas factory operated by Ranbaxy Laboratories, India's largest drugmaker, due to quality control violations. The Food and Drug…

Read More

NEW BOOK: Science and Technology in International Economic Law:

Routledge, 2014
by Bryan Mercurio and Kuei-Jung Ni (Petrie-Flom Visiting Scholar), editors

Science and technology plays an increasingly important role in the continued development of international economic law. This book brings together well-known and rising scholars to explore the status and interaction…

Read More

Lack of drug data ‘extreme concern’:

BBC News, January 2, 2014
by James Gallagher

The Public Accounts Committee is calling for all data on drugs being prescribed in the UK to be made available. It also says the government spent £424m stockpiling the antiviral…

Read More

Five pressing health priorities in 2014

The Washington Post, December 28, 2013
by Brady Dennis

As head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Thomas Frieden oversees an agency with the sprawling mission of reining in diseases in the United States and across the globe.…

Read More

Denmark’s ‘Fix Rooms’ Give Drug Users A Safe Haven

NPR, December 16, 2013
by Sidsel Overgaard

[...] In June 2012, the Danish Parliament passed legislation making it possible for municipalities to open so-called drug consumption rooms (known in Denmark as "fix rooms" and elsewhere, more specifically,…

Read More

Right-to-die challenge reaches Supreme Court

BBC News, December 16, 2013

It involves family of the late Tony Nicklinson of Wilts, who had locked-in syndrome, and Paul Lamb of Leeds, who was paralysed in a road crash. They want the law…

Read More

These Two Americans Want Babies Through Indian Surrogates.

The New Republic, December 10, 2013
by Jennifer Kirby, citing I. Glenn Cohen

[...] An estimated 2,000 foreign babies are born to Indian surrogates each year, according to research in the forthcoming book Patients With Passports: Medical Tourism, Ethics, and Law, by Harvard law professor I. Glenn…

Read More

Harvard Law School to Host Conference on Food Safety Law

Food Safety News, December 10, 2013
by James Andrews

The Petrie-Flom Center's upcoming conference "New Directions for Food Safety: The Food Safety Modernization Act and Beyond," which will be held at Harvard Law School on Friday, February 21, 2014,…

Read More

Companies’ Global Health ‘Footprint’:
Could Rating Help?

Monday, December 09, 2013 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA

Imagine a rating or accreditation system for companies' "global health footprint." Such a system would rigorously assess companies' overall impact…

Read More

Ketamine ‘should be upgraded to Class B’

BBC News, December 10, 2013

The drug ketamine should be upgraded from a Class C drug to Class B, government advisers have recommended. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said new evidence had…

Read More

Thalidomide lawsuit settled in Australia, NZ for $81m

BBC News, December 2, 2013

A lawsuit filed by more than 100 people in Australia and New Zealand who suffered birth defects caused by the drug Thalidomide has been settled. British company Diageo, which did…

Read More

Have Injury, Will Travel:

Outside Magazine, November 14, 2013
by Emily Matchar, quoting I. Glenn Cohen

[...] Most people who travel abroad for medical care are uninsured or underinsured, with high-copay or high-deductible insurance, says Glenn Cohen, a professor atHarvard Law School who studies medical tourism. [...]

Read More

Breastfeeding mothers offered £200 in shop vouchers

BBC, November 12, 2013
by Nick Triggle

New mothers are to be offered up to £200 in shopping vouchers to encourage them to breastfeed their babies. The pilot scheme is being targeted at deprived areas of South…

Read More

Reproductive Rights around the Globe

Thursday, November 07, 2013 12:00 PM
Lectures and Panels
Wasserstein 1019
1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Watch Event Recordings

A discussion of selected topics in the field of international reproductive rights, moderated by Elizabeth Bartholet, Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor…

Read More

Health Law Workshop: Jennifer Prah Ruger

Monday, November 04, 2013 5:00 PM
Health Law Workshops
Hauser 105
1575 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

Download the workshop paper: "Global Health Justice and Governance" Jennifer Prah Ruger is an Associate Professor of Medical Ethics &…

Read More

‘Big, striking horror:’

NBC News, November 4, 2013
by Bill Briggs

U.S. military doctors designed, enabled and engaged in the torture of suspected terrorists held at American detention centers during the past decade, violating globally recognized ethics and medical principles that…

Read More

Wombs for rent:

CNN, November 3, 2013
by Kevin Voigt, Mallika Kapur and Lonzo Cook

Anand, India (CNN) -- Madhu Makwan asks a reporter to translate a card in English she received from a Canadian family for whom the Indian laborer spent nine months gestating their…

Read More

Can You Buy Sperm Donor Identification?

Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, October 23, 2013
by I. Glenn Cohen and Travis G. Coan

In the United States, most sperm donations are anonymous. By contrast, many developed nations require sperm donors to be identified, typically requiring new sperm (and egg) donors to put identifying…

Read More

As Drug Costs Rise, Bending the Law Is One Remedy

New York Times, October 22, 2013
by Elisabeth Rosenthal

[...] The high price of many prescription drugs in the United States has left millions of Americans telling white lies and committing fraud and other crimes to get their medicines.…

Read More

Belinda Bennett on Globalization and the Future of Health Law

International Legal Studies at HLS, October 22, 2013

Globalization and the Future of Health Law: Harmonization or Diversity? A talk by Belinda Bennett, Professor of Health and Medical Law, University of Sydney Introduction by I. Glenn Cohen  …

Read More