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BU scholar's focus: Patents vs. Pandemics

October 11, 2013

BU scholar's focus: Patents vs. Pandemics

Oct. 11, 2013

Kevin Outterson, Boston University
Kevin Outterson (Photo courtesy Boston

Boston University law Professor Kevin Outterson will give a talk titled “Patents vs. Pandemics: The Legal Ecology of Antimicrobial Resistance” beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in Emerson Auditorium, Palamountain Hall.

He will discuss how antibiotic resistance is a looming problem in health care and agriculture and how solutions to this problem will require innovative thinking, hard choices, and global policy coordination.

Free and open to the public, the talk is sponsored by Skidmore’s Dean of the Faculty.

Outterson teaches health law and corporate law at Boston University, where he co-directs the Health Law Program. He serves as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics; faculty co-advisor to the American Journal of Law & Medicine; past chair of the Section on Law, Medicine & Health Care of the AALS; and a member of the Board of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics.  He also blogs on health policy issues.

His research focuses on the organization and finance of the health sector. His areas of specialization include global pharmaceutical markets, particularly antibiotics and other antimicrobials that can degrade in usefulness over time through resistance. He leads an interdisciplinary project on the legal ecology of antimicrobial resistance, funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program on public health law. He is a faculty affiliate at the Harvard Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics and an appointed member of the Antimicrobial Resistance Working Group at the CDC and the Brookings-FDA working group on economic incentives for antibacterials.

Outterson is also working at the intersection of public health and the First Amendment, particularly as companies are deploying free speech as a tool against public health regulations covering the marketing of legal products.

On behalf of The New England Journal of Medicine and other clients, Outterson filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Vermont’s prescription privacy law. His work was cited by Justice Breyer in Sorrell v. IMS Health. In addition, Outterson was part of a team that field four amicus briefs supporting the Affordable Care Act, which the court upheld in the spring of 2012.

Outterson is a professor of law and a professor of health law, bioethics and human rights at BU. He holds B.S. and JD degrees from Northwestern University, an LL.M. degree from the University of Cambridge, and attended the University of Reading as a Rotary Scholar. His academic papers may be found here.


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