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January 2013 - CDC Public Health Law News

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

From the Public Health Law Program,
Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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  1. Journal article on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis. The Public Health Law Program is proud to announce the publication of State Adolescent Consent Laws and Implications for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, in the January 2013 edition of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. The article was co-authored by Lindsay Culp, J.D., M.P.H., and Lisa Caucci, J.D., M.A., of the CDC's Public Health Law Program. Recent large clinical trials have found that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) reduced HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM), but efforts to provide clinical care to minors, including young MSM, may be complicated by a lack of clarity regarding parental consent requirements with respect to medical services. The article analyzes laws related to minors' ability to consent to medical care, including HIV diagnostic testing and treatment, and their implications for the PrEP. Find more information and read the article.

  2. National Health Policy Conference. The 13th annual National Health Policy Conference (NHPC) will be held in Washington, D.C. at the Grand Hyatt Washington, February 4–5, 2013. NHPC is the nation's first comprehensive look at the year ahead in health policy, providing an insider's perspective on the nation's health policy agenda. This conference brings together senior health care decision makers, drawing more than 800 leaders from academia, government, foundations, hospitals, and the health care industry. Registration ends January 28, 2013. Find more information and register for the conference.

  3. Injury prevention webinars. The Network for Public Health Law has partnered with the Children's Safety Network to produce a new webinar series exploring injury prevention through policies. The next webinar, Implementation of State Youth Concussion Laws: Perspectives from the Frontlines, will take place on January 24, 2013, 2:30–4 pm (EST). This webinar will provide an update on states' youth concussion laws, as well as preliminary results from an interview survey with state officials and organizational leaders charged with implementation of these laws in their own states. Three presenters with different organizational perspectives will share their experiences in implementing the laws in their states. Presenters include Kerri McGowan Lowrey, J.D., M.P.H, Deputy Director, The Network for Public Health Law—Eastern Region, University of Maryland Francis Carey School of Law; Carlene Pavlos, M.T.S., Director, Division of Violence and Injury Prevention, Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and Gary Matthews, Executive Director, Alaska School Activities Association. The session moderator is Cindy Rodgers, M.S.P.H., Project Specialist, Children's Safety Network. Find more information and register for the webinar.

  4. Underage drinking prevention webinar. The Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking (ICCPUD) is hosting a webinar series, Preventing Underage Drinking, this month. The first presentation is on January 30, 2013, from 2–3 pm (EST). This first webinar in the series will provide an overview of the issue and of the series. It will begin with introductions from Dr. Benjamin, Surgeon General of the United States, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and ICCPUD Chair, Administrator Hyde. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Acting Director Warren will then provide an overview of the nature and extent of the problem, and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention Director Harding will discuss the "shape of the solution." Following their presentations, Director Harding and Acting Director Warren will engage with participants in a live question-and-answer period. Find more information and register for the webinar.

  5. Affordable Care Act implementation webinar. On January 17 at 1–2 pm (EST) the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics (ASLME) is hosting Effects of the Election on Future Implementation of the ACA. The webinar includes features three presenters, Dr. Susan Polan, Eli Briggs and Jina Dhillon. Ms. Dhillon will provide a detailed look at what the Supreme Court decision did and did not do, and describe ongoing lawsuits challenging it. Dr. Polan will provide a broad overview of what the election means for the ACA at the federal level and describe some of the ACA's initiatives that impact public health. Ms. Briggs will provide a more "on the ground" look at how the ACA is being implemented at the state and local level, as well as suggestions for actions health departments can take in light of its passage and the current political environment. The webinar will be archived and posted online after the event. Find more information and access the archived webinar.

  6. O'Neill Institute accepting Law Fellow applications. The O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, which is housed at Georgetown University Law Center, is seeking exceptionally qualified candidates to serve as O'Neill Institute Law Fellows. Fellowship terms are one year, with possible extension to two years, and will begin autumn 2013. Fellows receive an annual salary of $65,000 with outstanding benefits. Candidates must have a J.D. Applications must include: CV, cover letter, writing sample, professional references, official law school transcripts, and other graduate school transcripts (if applicable). The application deadline is Friday, February 22, 2013. Any questions about the position should be directed to Find more information about the fellowship.

  7. Funding opportunity with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Public Health Law Research Program (PHLR). PHLR invites current Ph.D. students in accredited doctoral degree programs to apply. Dissertation Grants will be awarded for up to $20,000 each for twelve months maximum. These grants apply to 1) qualitative or quantitative studies of the health effects of specific laws or regulations and/or related underlying mechanisms of effect and 2) mapping studies—empirical legal research that creates a multi-jurisdictional data set of laws suitable for quantitative research. Mapping studies require the integration of legal analysis and public health research to ensure that the important dimensions of the relevant laws are accurately and comprehensively measured. Beyond the monetary support provided by the awards, the program offers awardees the opportunity to share research progress and network at the PHLR 2014 Annual Meeting. Travel support for the PHLR Annual Meeting is covered by the National Program Office and should not be included in the application budget. Up to $100,000 will be available under this program. Deadline for proposals is February 15, 2013. Find more information and read the call for proposals [PDF - 163KB.

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Legal Tools

  1. Sodium reduction tools. To support Americans' New Year's health and nutrition goals and in advance of American Heart Month, the Public Health Law Program (PHLP) has released a series of legal resources on dietary sodium reduction. According to CDC, excess dietary sodium raises the risk for high blood pressure and its cardiovascular health consequences, including heart disease and stroke, the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States. As part of a longstanding collaboration with the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention in CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, PHLP highlights six legal resources and six policy toolkits for practitioners seeking to reduce dietary sodium in discrete populations. Access the policy resources and toolkits.

  2. Ethics training manuals. As part of CDC's ongoing efforts to support state and local health departments, the Public Health Ethics Unit developed a training manual to strengthen public health ethics capacity at the local level. The manual includes an introduction to public health ethics, relevant case studies, suggestions for integrating ethics into health departments, and additional resources. Find more information and download the Student Manual.

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Top Stories

  1. National: Looking for a match

    New York Times (01/02/2013) Abby Ellin

    A company called New Color Iris allegedly marketed a device capable of implanting an artificial or prosthetic iris, the colored part of the eye surrounding the pupil, over an individual's natural iris. Such an implant changes the color and overall appearance of the individual's eye. The implants, however, are not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), absent grave medical circumstances. Individuals who reside in the U.S. and leave the U.S. to have the unapproved surgery circumvent the FDA's approval, but often receive negative surgical results.

    Many seek to change their eye color; colored contact lenses made up about 20 percent of the $7.8 billion global contact lens market in 2011, according to a January 2012 report by BCC Market Research. The FDA approves iris implants under the Humanitarian Device Exemption (see section 520(m) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [PDF - 166KB]), which is only available people with severe conditions, such as aniridia, a rare condition with partial or total iris absence. Those who seek the surgery purely for cosmetic reasons must leave the U.S. to receive the surgery.

    Anita Adams, who had two differently colored irises, also known as heterochromia, traveled to Panama in 2008 to have the surgery. Initially, she was pleased with the surgery, even becoming a spokesperson for New Color Iris, but in 2010 her vision grew "spotty" and she began to fear she was going blind. Repeated attempts to contact New Color Iris were unsuccessful. After being diagnosed with glaucoma and cataracts, her implants were removed in early 2011. "My pupils are kind of oblong instead of round now, and my corneas are scratched, so I can't wear contact lenses," said Adams.

    Dr. Gregory J. Pamel, a corneal and refractive surgeon in Manhattan, New York, and assistant professor of ophthalmology at New York University, reports receiving numerous calls over recent years seeking iris implants. "They'd want to enroll in the clinical trial, and I would say, ‘There's nothing available in the U.S.'"

    Other medical professionals, such as Dr. Kenneth Steinsapir, an oculofacial surgeon and ophthalmologist in Los Angeles, California, have been warning the public about it. Dr. Steinsapir blogged about the problem in 2010, "The colored disk that is put in the eye has been shown to cause harm. If you are not albino and missing iris pigment or have part of the iris missing either from a birth defect or from trauma, then there is no compelling medical reason for this surgery."

  2. National: FDA offers broad new rules to fight food contamination

    New York times (01/04/2013) Stephanie Strom

    In recent years food contamination has sickened thousands in the U.S. On January 4, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released two proposed rules that work to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, enacted in 2011.

    The first proposed rule focuses on preventative controls for human food by setting safety requirements for facilities that "process, package, or store food for people." The FDA website indicates a separate rule will be promulgated for animal food. The second proposed rule deals with safe production and harvesting of fruits and vegetables.

    Officials are optimistic that the new rules will be more effective due to their reliance on strong scientific methods. According Michael R. Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, "These new rules really set the basic framework for a modern, science-based approach to food safety and shift us from a strategy of reacting to problems to a strategy for preventing problems."

    While funding remains a concern, the changes include record-keeping requirements, outbreak contingency plans, and other measures to halt the spread of contaminated food products. The rules are open for public comment for 120 days. Three other proposed rules still await release.

    [Editor's note: Find more information and comment on the proposed food safety rules.]

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    Briefly Noted

    1. Alabama: New laws crack down on uninsured drivers and human trafficking
      New Alabama law targets drivers without insurance (12/25/2012)

    2. Alaska: Law requiring coverage of autism spectrum disorders takes effect
      Autism bill, other measures set to take effect
      Juneau Empire (01/01/2013) Becky Bohrer

    3. California: Registered nurses able to dispense birth control under new law
      Nurses can dispense hormonal birth control in California, but new law draws controversy
      Huffington Post (01/05/2013) Kim Lamb Gregory

    4. Illinois: New law mandates radon testing in daycare centers
      Illinois daycare centers now must test for radon
      Journal Gazette and Times-Courier (01/04/2013)
      [Editor's note: Find more information about Illinois's radon awareness activities and read the law.]

    5. Maryland: Arsenic banned in chicken feed
      New Md. laws include ban on arsenic in chicken feed
      Baltimore Sun (12/29/2012) Michael Dresser

    6. Massachusetts: Mayor declares influenza emergency, worst flu season since 2009
      700 cases of flu prompt Boston to declare emergency
      USA Today (01/10/2013) Elizabeth Weise and Melanie Eversley
      [Editor's note: Find more information and read Mayor Menino's declaration.]

    7. Vermont: States file with federal court for nuclear waste site re-evaluation
      Vermont, NY seek more review of nuke waste storage
      Burlington Free Press (01/03/2013)

    8. National: Schools grapple with allergy policies and allergy-based bullying
      Allergy Bullying: When food is a weapon
      CNN (01/05/2013) Elizabeth Landau

    9. National: Approved anti-diarrheal drug may increase HIV/AIDS therapy compliance
      Company: FDA approved diarrhea drug
      USA Today (01/02/2013)

    10. National: Concerns raised about affordability of family coverage
      Employers must offer family care, affordable or not
      New York Times (12/31/2012) Robert Pear

    11. National: Seventeen states and D.C. approved to run health insurance exchanges
      More states cleared to operate health insurance exchanges
      Los Angeles Times (01/04/2013) Noam N. Levey

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    Court Opinions

    1. Kentucky: Board of health has authority to promulgate smoking regulation
      Bullitt County Board of Health v. Bullitt County [PDF - 163KB]
      Court of Appeals of Kentucky
      Case No. 2011-CA-001798-MR
      Filed 12/07/2012
      Opinion by Judge Lawrence B. VanMeter

    2. Minnesota: Reduction in pay for personal care attendants violates state constitution
      Healthstar Home Health, Inc. v. Lucinda Jesson, in her official capacity as Commissioner of Human Services
      Court of Appeals of Minnesota
      Case No. A12-0591
      Filed 12/17/2012
      Opinion by Judge Terry J. Stoneburner

    3. Montana: City's degree of misconduct to be determined in park injury case
      Gatlin-Johnson v. City of Miles City
      Supreme Court of Montana
      Case No. DA 12-0129
      Filed 12/21/2012
      Opinion by Chief Justice Mike McGrath

    4. Nevada: Court finds statute meant to provide health districts with dedicated funding
      Clark County v. Southern Nevada Health District
      Supreme Court of Nevada
      Case No. 59213
      Filed 12/06/2012
      Opinion by Justice Michael Douglas

    5. Federal: ACA does not violate substantive due process rights
      Coons v. Geithner
      United States District Court for the District of Arizona
      Case No. CV-10-1714-PHX-GMS
      Filed 12/19/2012
      Opinion by Judge G. Murray Snow

    6. Federal: Grocery gift cards could violate Federal anti-kickback statute
      Re: OIG Advisory Opinion No 12-21 [PDF - 127KB]
      Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General
      Posted 01/03/2013
      Advisory opinion by Chief Counsel to the Inspector General, Gregory E. Demske
      [Editor's note: Find more information about the Social Security Act and the federal anti-kickback statute.]

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    Quotation of the Month: Anita Adams, iris implant patient.

    "If there's no FDA approval, there's a reason. I'm grateful I didn't lose my vision," said Anita Adams of her iris implantation surgery, a surgery which was performed in Panama.

    About Public Health Law News

    The CDC Public Health Law News is published the third Thursday of each month except holidays, plus special issues when warranted. It is distributed only in electronic form and is free of charge.

    The News is published by the CDC Public Health Law Program in the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support.


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    News content is selected solely on the basis of newsworthiness and potential interest to readers. CDC and HHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented from other sources. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or HHS. Opinions expressed by the original authors of items included in the News, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or HHS. References to products, trade names, publications, news sources, and non-CDC Web sites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or HHS. Legal cases are presented for educational purposes only, and are not meant to represent the current state of the law. The findings and conclusions reported in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of CDC or HHS. The News is in the public domain and may be freely forwarded and reproduced without permission. The original news sources and the CDC Public Health Law News should be cited as sources. Readers should contact the cited news sources for the full text of the articles.

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