Health Care

Se[a]ttle for Better: Learning About Health Outcomes from the City that Sparked the Higher Minimum Wage Movement

By: Katherine Brock 


Nearly eight years ago, fast food employees in Seattle marched out of work and into the streets, launching a strike—and ultimately a movement—for a $15 minimum wage. Within two months, the strike spread to more than fifty cities across the country, forcing many restaurants to close temporarily amid cries for higher wages and the right to organize. Today, Seattle residents enjoy a minimum wage between $15 and $16.69 an hour depending on the size of the employer, but the movement that spurred change in Seattle—and even the state of Washington—has yet to succeed on a national scale. Why is that? Continue reading »

Up In Smoke: How Vaping Regulations and Bans May Detriment Small Businesses

By: Nathaniel Reiff

Once considered a healthier alternative to traditional cigarette smoking, vaping might be burning out in the United States. Recently, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker ordered a four-month ban on the sale of vaping products after declaring a statewide public health emergency. Governor Baker’s decision comes after 61 cases of lung disease, purportedly related to electronic cigarettes and vaping use, were reported in his state alone. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since September 17, there have been 530 cases of lung injuries across 38 states. The CDC has not identified any one company or vaping product as responsible for the deaths and injuries associated with the growing trend of alternative cigarette use. According to the New York Times, “Many of the illnesses have been linked to vaping mixtures with THC, the high-inducing chemical in marijuana.”

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Uh Oh, Opioids!

By: Mary Jasperse, Summer Blogger

Branded Oxycodone 10mg

In 2017, The New Yorker published an expose on the Sackler Family and their company, Purdue Pharma, that blew the top off of a modern American scandal. This entrepreneurial family became one of the wealthiest in America, amassing a net worth of over thirteen billion dollars in a matter of years. The key to their success has been OxyContin, an oxycodone pain medication chemically similar to morphine. Though no more effective than similar products, OxyContin became the brand leader through aggressive marketing and promotion from Purdue Pharma. As a result of this vigorous campaigning, annual prescriptions for OxyContin increased from 600,000 thousand to 6 million.

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AbbVie Wins U.S. Trial in Lawsuit Over AndroGel’s Risks

By: Andrew Homer *| Staff Writer

One out of four middle-aged men over 30 years of age suffer from low testosterone levels (“Low T”). The number of middle-aged men who are prescribed hormone treatment to increase testosterone levels have ballooned since 2001 and began to deflate after 2013.

This rise in Low T treatment might be due to the marketing strategies of the manufacturers of these hormone treatments. Or at least, that is one of the arguments made by the plaintiff in a case recently decided in Notle v. AbbVie, Inc., et al.

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Spring 2018 Symposium: Intellectual Property & Medical Technology: From Creation to Commercialization


The Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law present its Spring Symposium:

Intellectual Property and Medical Technology: From Creation to Commercialization 

The Symposium is being held, today, Friday, February 2, 2018, from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm at the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter (Biotech Place). This year’s event will look at medical patents, bioethics and the intellectual property implications of medical technology.


Overview of Regenerative Medicine, Role of Law, & Bioethics

Keynote Speakers: Julie Watson and Dr. John D. Jackson

Julie Watson, Chief Legal Counsel for the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, opened the Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law Symposium by introducing the first speaker of the day, Dr. John D. Jackson. Dr. Jackson, an associate professor at the Institute since 2010, began the day’s events by explaining the technical components of the Institute.

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A General Overview of the Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law’s Symposium: “Intellectual Property and Medical Technology: From Creation to Commercialization”

By Justfixingawrongnumber (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Justfixingawrongnumber (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law will be hosting its spring symposium,  “Intellectual Property and Medical Technology: From Creation to Commercialization,” beginning at 8:30 a.m. this Friday, February 2, 2018, in the Wake Forest Biotech Place Atrium at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. Medical patents, the intersection of bioethics and the law, and the venture capitalist-side of regenerative medicine are among some of the topics to be discussed at this year’s symposium. This blog post is meant to provide a brief overview of bioethics and venture capitalists of medical devices.

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Big Wins for Johnson & Johnson Are Giving Plaintiffs a Lot to “Talc” About

By: Emily Marcum *| Staff Writer

By Austin Kirk ( [CC BY 2.0 ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Austin Kirk ( [CC BY 2.0 ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Over two-thousand lawsuits are currently pending in state and federal court alleging that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn women about the potential cancer risks associated with its popular talc-based baby powder product. Around 5,000 women claim that they developed ovarian cancer from using the Johnson & Johnson powder containing talc. Talcum powder is made from the mineral, talc, which is mostly made up of three elements magnesium, silicon, hydrogen, and oxygen. In its natural form, some talc can contain asbestos, a known cancer-causing agent. As a result, the United States has ensured since the 1970s that all talcum products used in consumer products are asbestos-free. The American Cancer Society has talc containing asbestos listed as a carcinogen. However, the studies regarding the asbestos-free talc contained in the Johnson & Johnson baby powder and other consumer products remains inconclusive. The American Cancer Society urges consumers that are concerned about talcum powder to avoid or limit their use of consumer products that contain it.

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FDA Knocking Off Drug Prices by Encouraging Knock-Offs

By: Whitney Hosey *| Staff Writer

Traditionally, the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) role in pharmaceuticals is to ensure that products are safe and effective. Now, in response to public backlash against increasing complex drug prices, the FDA is taking a more active approach to drug prices and accessibility. The FDA is authorized to deal with matters which concern public health, however, it is expanding that definition to include increased access to more affordable life-saving drugs, in the form of generic versions of the existing medications. While the FDA is not engaging in price fixing, the new measures released in October 2017 will, according to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, help increase competition in the market by encouraging companies to invest in making generic versions of these medications.

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Round Two: FDA Approves Pfizer’s Previously Withdrawn Cancer Drug

By: Gabriela Mejias *| Staff Writer

By The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Inspecting a Drug Manufacturer (FDA034)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The FDA recently approved a new version of a previously withdrawn drug for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. Mylotarg, produced by Pfizer, Inc., was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in 2010 after studies showed the drug failed to provide clinical benefits and carried certain safety concerns, such as a high number of deaths.

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DOJ Joins High-Profile Lawsuit Against UnitedHealth Alleging Medicare Fraud

By: Hailey Cleek *| Guest Writer

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is a party to a high-profile case, brought under the False Claims Act, involving one of the largest health insurers in the United States, UnitedHealth Group (UHG). False Claims Act cases allow private individuals or the federal government to file a lawsuit against those individuals or businesses that have defrauded the federal government. Congress strengthened the Act in 1986 by increasing incentives for whistleblowers to file lawsuits. Federal prosecutors said that they want to consolidate their case with another whistleblower lawsuit that alleges UHG, and customers of its subsidiary for data and analytics received billions of dollars in government overpayments.

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