Network Report

8/21/214

Current Issues in Public Health Law

Ebola Legal Preparedness Q&A

Are public health agencies and other entities legally prepared for the potential introduction of Ebola in the U.S.? The Network's experts on emergency legal preparedness and response answer questions about travel restrictions, screening measures, the rights of health workers, as well as isolation and quarantine of exposed and/or infected individuals.

Read Ebola Legal Preparedness Q&A.

Naloxone: The New Mexico Experience

The current rise in heroin use and prescription drug abuse has prompted many states to examine laws aimed at overdose prevention. While a number of states have recently amended their laws to broaden access to naloxone and protect Good Samaritans who seek assistance for overdose victims, New Mexico was the first state to do so — in 2001 and 2007, respectively.

Read about New Mexico’s overdose prevention laws.

Ensuring Patients get the Medication They Need: Improving Qualified Health Plans

Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) must provide essential health benefits and follow established limits on cost-sharing. However, recent analysis of QHPs found that many plans require patients to pay a high percentage of the costs of medications used to treat serious and chronic illnesses including HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis and cancer, making it difficult for low-income patients with such illnesses to receive the medications they need.

Learn more about gaps in QHPs.

Updated Resources

State Medical Marijuana Laws

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have passed some form of medical marijuana legislation. This table provides a brief overview of jurisdictions with statutory and regulatory provisions legalizing medical marijuana use as of June 23, 2014, including those permitting only limited access programs.

View the State Medical Marijuana Laws Table.

Public Health Law Research: Distracted Driving Laws

Currently, all but one state have passed a law addressing distracted driving. The Public Health Law Research Program recently released data on laws specific to distracted driving caused by cellphone use, covering restrictions based on the type of driver, restricted behaviors and actions, as well as how each state enforces the law and associated penalties.

Learn more about states’ distracted driving laws.

Upcoming Webinars

Advancing Infant Health: Addressing Disparities and Identifying Legal Strategies to Promote Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is proven to have significant health benefits for infants, providing nutrients and antibodies that promote health and fight illness. But for many mothers, social, political and economic challenges impede opportunities to breastfeed. This webinar will highlight legal and policy strategies to strengthen systems to support breastfeeding initiation and success. The webinar is free for all attendees and will take place on Thursday, August 21 at 1 p.m. (ET).

Learn more and register for Advancing Infant Health Webinar.

Legal and Policy tools in Drug Overdose Prevention

Opioid overdose in the U.S. is at epidemic levels. This upcoming webinar will explore two legal and policy options that have seen rapid uptake in recent years: Prescription Monitoring Programs (PMPs), which are electronic databases that collect patient-specific prescription information and make that information available to authorized entities, and legal changes that increase access to the opioid overdose medication naloxone. The webinar is free to all attendees and will take place on Thursday, August 28 at 1 p.m. ET.

Learn more and register for Drug Overdose Prevention Webinar.

Ask the Experts:

Laws Impacting Use of Video Direct Observed Therapy for Tuberculosis Patients

Video direct observed therapy (VDOT) is a technique in which a medical professional observes a patient taking their treatment drugs remotely through video technology. The Network was recently contacted by a county public health department considering the practice as a way to care for tuberculosis patients. The health department wanted to know about laws that might impact the use of VDOT.

Read more on VDOT and view resource outlining regulations in a number of states.

2014 Public Health Law Conference

The 2014 Public Health Law Conference will gather public health and legal experts to examine today’s most critical public health law issues. Experts in the field will export a wide-range of emerging issues from a variety of perspectives. Register today to receive the early-bird registration rate.

Learn more and register for the 2014 Public Health Law Conference.

Join the Network.