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Robert Greenwald

  • Federal Officials Warn States on Hepatitis C Drug Restrictions

    November 6, 2015

    In a sign of growing government interest in rising prescription-drug costs, federal officials on Thursday said state Medicaid programs may be violating federal law by denying patients expensive hepatitis C medications. They also asked drug makers to provide information on their pricing arrangements with health insurers, which officials said could help ease the financial burden on state budgets...Patient advocates praised CMS’s guidance to states, which they said would help increase the availability of treatments for patients. Robert Greenwald, director of Harvard University’s Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, said in an email that his group “applauds CMS for clearly articulating that restricting access to HCV treatments solely on the basis of cost and using medically unjustifiable criteria is unacceptable.”

  • How insurance providers deny hepatitis C patients life-saving drugs

    October 16, 2015

    ...Rojas is one of an estimated 3.2 million Americans with hepatitis C, an infection that attacks the liver. In the United States, hepatitis C kills more people every year than HIV. Drugs like Harvoni promise to cure more than 90 percent of patients, yet many insurance providers only authorize treatment if a patient has extensive liver damage, or a “fibrosis score” of three or four...Some of these policies are on shaky legal ground, according to Robert Greenwald, director of Harvard Law School's Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, Cambridge, Massachusetts. For example, Greenwald believes some state Medicaid programs are violating federal Medicaid law with excessive hepatitis C prior-authorization rules. In addition, private insurance companies are violating their own contracts, which promise to provide “medically necessary” services to covered patients. “They are completely abrogating their obligation to provide these services in hepatitis C solely based on cost,” Greenwald said.

  • Professor Robert Greenwald

    Greenwald analyzes the government’s updated national HIV/AIDS strategy

    September 22, 2015

    Robert Greenwald, director of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation and a clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School, has co-authored an editorial with David Holtgrave, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, on the updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) from the federal government.

  • Wider Reach Is Sought for Costly New Hepatitis C Treatments

    August 25, 2015

    Federal and state Medicaid officials should widen access to prescription drugs that could cure tens of thousands of people with hepatitis C, including medications that can cost up to $1,000 a pill, health care experts have told the White House. The experts, from the Public Health Service and President Obama’s Advisory Council on H.I.V./AIDS, said that restrictions on the drugs imposed by many states were inconsistent with sound medical practice, as reflected in treatment guidelines issued by health care professionals and the Department of Veterans Affairs. ...But Robert L. Greenwald, an expert on health law and policy at Harvard Law School, said: “These criteria defy clinical guidelines and best practices. Rather than recommending the exclusion of people who inject drugs, we should encourage earlier treatment as a way to prevent transmission of the virus.”

  • Hepatitis C reports 
only ‘tip of iceberg’

    July 6, 2015

    The spread of hepatitis C could be grossly underreported, with fewer than 1 percent of cases reported to federal public health officials, while tens of thousands could be undetected, according to researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital who say the growing opioid crisis is 
fueling the problem....Another study out this week, co-authored by Robert Greenwald, director of Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law and Policy, focused on the difficulty addicts have obtaining Medicaid coverage for costly medications. A highly effective drug, Sovaldi by Gilead, costs about $84,000 for a 12-week course. “We are seeing a decrease in cost of treatments, and haven’t seen a commensurate lessening of coverage restrictions,” Greenwald said. Under some programs within MassHealth, patients must be sober for at least six months — which cuts many addicts out of treatment.

  • Is Medicaid Denying a Life-Saving Cure Based on Cost?

    July 1, 2015

    A new study has found that the majority of state-run Medicaid programs are creating formidable barriers to patients with the potentially deadly Hepatitis C virus from being treated with new wonder drugs that can cost as much as $1,000 a pill. The joint study by researchers from Harvard Law School, Brown University’s Department of Medicine, Rhode Island’s Miriam Hospital, and the Kirby Institute of Australia was published Tuesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine...Robert Greenwald, a professor at the Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law and Policy and a co-author of the study, said that he began the research with the idea there were restrictions in place but that he didn’t anticipate the breadth of these restrictions. “I think there is evidence that they are rationing based on cost,” Greenwald said in an interview on Tuesday, adding that “the sad reality” is that states are withholding treatment to many despite receiving rebates or discounts from the drug manufacturers of 23 percent or more.

  • State restrictions for hepatitis C drug may go too far

    July 1, 2015

    State-run insurance programs for the poor may be putting up illegal barriers that prevent people with hepatitis C from getting a new treatment, a new study suggests. "We had this idea that there were restrictions in place, but we didn't anticipate the breadth of these restrictions," said study author Robert Greenwald of the Center for Health Law and Policy at Harvard Law School in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

  • Professor Robert Greenwald

    CHLPI study finds life-threatening barriers in access to breakthrough Hepatitis C drugs

    June 30, 2015

    A team of researchers from Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, Brown University's Department of Medicine, Rhode Island’s Miriam Hospital, Treatment Action Group, and Kirby Institute of Australia, has released findings from a nationwide study of Medicaid policies for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV), which affects over 3 million Americans.

  • Cover of 2015 US Federal Report PATHS

    CHLPI launches campaign to promote federal law and policy reforms for type 2 diabetes

    June 4, 2015

    On May 19, the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) launched a campaign to promote federal law and policy reforms for type 2 diabetes prevention and management as part of CHLPI’s broader, multi-phase Providing Access to Healthy Solutions (PATHS) initiative that first worked to strengthen local and state policy to address diet-related health conditions.

  • Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation wins health insurance pricing changes

    March 20, 2015

    While the health care rights of low-income individuals living with chronic illnesses are under attack by interests seeking to undermine the Affordable Care Act, advocacy by Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) has directly led to one health insurance provider making a significant change to protect its patients.

  • Outside of the supreme court stone columns

    Center For Health Law and Policy Innovation files amicus brief calling for preservation of federal subsidies under the ACA

    January 29, 2015

    The Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation has spearheaded the filing of an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, requesting that the Court affirm a court of appeals decision upholding the nationwide provision of federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

  • Legal Services Center announces leadership transition

    September 17, 2014

    Harvard Law School’s WilmerHale Legal Services Center—one of the leading providers of legal aid in Greater Boston and surrounding communities—has announced that Daniel Nagin, Clinical Professor of Law, will be its Faculty Director.

  • Is Obamacare Living Up to Its Preexisting-Conditions Promise?

    June 30, 2014

    Insurance companies may have found a way to skirt one of Obamacare's most popular promises: equal access to insurance coverage for patients with preexisting conditions…"Insurance companies have a long history of undertaking practices designed to restrict [high-risk pools]—through preexisting-protection preclusions, and higher premiums," said Robert Greenwald, director of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School. "All those options are now off the table clearly and explicitly. So what we're seeing instead are other practices—lack of transparency, failing to cover other medications, refusing to accept third-party payments, or the tiering of medicines."

  • ‘Food is Medicine’: Health reform should support nutritional counseling, medical meals, says HLS report

    June 12, 2014

    The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) of Harvard Law School released the report “Food is Medicine: Opportunities in Public and

  • PATHS Clinical Fellows

    HLS report illustrates pervasiveness of Type 2 diabetes epidemic in NJ

    April 17, 2014

    The Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation (CHLPI) recently released an insightful and action-oriented report on the landscape of type 2 diabetes in New Jersey. The report serves as a resource for diabetes advocates and offers detailed policy recommendations for the prevention and management of the disease.

  • Thought for Food: Contemplating new regulations in a global economy 1

    Thought for Food: Contemplating new regulations in a global economy

    January 1, 2014

    With more and more people deeply concerned about what they’re eating and what it means for our health, the economy, the environment, social justice, and even national security, Harvard Law School has created a new focus on food law.

  • Clinic students develop workbook to help navigate Affordable Care Act

    October 24, 2013

    For people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic health conditions, finding the optimal healthcare plan for their needs is a lot easier, thanks to a new assessment tool created by Clinical Professor Robert Greenwald and others at the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law & Policy Innovation.

  • For clinical students interested in food law and policy, a cornucopia of opportunities

    June 1, 2013

    With national attention focused on the obesity epidemic and the diabetes crisis—along with rapidly growing concerns about social justice and environmental problems related to the current food-production system—there may be no hotter topic in law schools right now than food law and policy. The wildly popular new Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, the first law school clinic of its kind in the world, is right at the center, with students working on a wide range of projects to make healthy food more accessible, help farmers’ markets overcome regulatory barriers so they can sell more of their products, guide states and local communities in creating food policy councils, and more.

  • Robert Greenwald appointed Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard

    May 9, 2011

    Robert Greenwald, director of Harvard Law School’s Health Law and Policy Clinic, has been promoted to full Clinical Professor of Law, Dean Martha Minow has announced.

  • Greenwald receives leadership award from the National Association of People with AIDS

    February 22, 2011

    For the third year in a row, Robert Greenwald, director of Harvard Law School’s Health Law and Policy Clinic, was awarded a Positive Leadership Award from the National Association of People with AIDS.

  • Enforcing Domestic Human Rights

    July 1, 2010

    From filing an emergency guardianship petition in probate court ensuring that the children of a dying mother are raised by the person she chooses, to appealing the denial of a disability claim in federal court for a critically ill client, the Harvard Law School Health Law and Policy Clinic prides itself on taking the toughest cases and working to shape policy to protect some of society’s most vulnerable people.