Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Two upcoming conferences of note:
1. Off Label Uses of Approved Drugs: Medicine, Law and Policy. Presented by AEI, May 21st, in Washington, DC.
“Off-label” prescribing—that is, doctors prescribing drugs for purposes other than those expressly approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—is often useful although little is known of its extent. In the last several years, nearly every major pharmaceutical company has paid hundreds of millions of dollars to settle allegations of illegal marketing of drugs for off-label uses. There has been a growing trend of actions by federal prosecutors, state attorneys general, and cooperating trial lawyers to litigate against pharmaceutical manufacturers for allegedly doing too much to promote off-label use of prescription products. Citing recent legal changes mandating exclusion from federal programs after a conviction, many manufacturers say they are forced to settle rather than risk defending themselves—even as prosecutions against individual executives have foundered in front of juries.
At this AEI Legal Center event, experts on both law and health care will present papers on the law, economics, medicine, and public policy of off-label marketing, discussing everything from off-label prescribing and the abuse of class action mechanisms to implications for the First Amendment and medical malpractice. Speakers include former FDA chief counsel Daniel Troy; former Cephalon general counsel John Osborn; former deputy attorney general George Terwilliger; principal deputy assistant attorney general and acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Division Jeffrey Bucholtz; attorneys Brian Anderson, James Beck, Mark Herrmann, Richard Samp, and Kyle Sampson; law professor Margaret Johns; and AEI scholars John E. Calfee, Theodore H. Frank, and Scott Gottlieb. The session will begin with results from a new survey of oncologists about off-label prescribing and information about off-label uses.
2. Mass Litigation. Presented by ALI-ABA, May 29-31st, in Charleston, SC.
In this new course of study, a distinguished faculty of judges, academics, practitioners, and others examines both the procedural and the substantive sides of the rapidly evolving field of mass litigation.
The course considers class actions, not just under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), but also as they affect ERISA and subprime claims. It discusses discovery (especially as it relates to electronic records), sanctions, case management, evidentiary issues, and the use of expert testimony. Attention is also paid to negotiation of settlements, mediation of claims, post-resolution management of claims and the distribution of proceeds, and punitive damages.
On the substantive side, the course updates registrants on litigation over a number of issues, discusses the increasing use of the Alien Tort Claims Act and Qui Tam proceedings, offers novel theories for recovery, and considers liability for climate change.
International issues receive attention as well. The faculty discusses foreign claims and defendants, foreign product recalls, and cross-border discovery (with emphasis on how foreign privacy laws affect U.S. discovery rules).