Consumer Protection Health Communications & Media

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Blue Shield Avoids TCPA-Related Liability

A federal court in California recently granted a summary judgment motion filed by Blue Shield of California (“Blue Shield”), allowing it to avoid liability for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act...more

Do Routine Calls by Health Plans to Patients and Health Plan Members Constitute “Telemarketing” Under the Telephone Consumer...

Covered entities have a long list of laws and regulations governing their conduct, including their communications with patients, customers, and members. Specifically, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act...more

Enough is Enough: Court Dismisses TCPA Class Action Against A Health Plan That Placed Reminder Calls To Its Members That They...

Plaintiffs across the country have continued to file class actions against companies of all stripe for violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), often for communications far afield from the classic...more

FTC Issues Long-Awaited Enforcement Policy on OTC Homeopathic Drugs

We reported a few weeks ago about a new warning from FDA related to the safety of certain teething-related, non-prescription homeopathic drug products, and in that post we mentioned that both FDA and the Federal Trade...more

TCPA Update - October 2016

We are pleased to present the latest edition of Monthly TCPA Digest, bringing you insights on TCPA regulatory and legislative updates, class action developments, and trends. If you have suggestions for content you would like...more

Federal Court Finds That 2015 TCPA Safe Harbor Applies to Automated Flu Shot Reminders

A recent decision from a federal court in California found that a retail pharmacy’s “flu shot reminder” calls to mobile phones fall within the FCC’s TCPA safe harbor for exigent health care treatment messages. But the holding...more

HHS-OCR Announces Guidance On HIPAA Compliance And Cloud Computing

On October 6, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued guidance on complying with HIPAA privacy, security, and breach notification rules when using cloud computing technology...more

FTC Bureau Director Highlights Continuing Health-Related Enforcement, Homeopathic Guidance, and ROSCA at NAD Conference

Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, highlighted the agency’s enforcement priorities at the National Advertising Division’s annual conference earlier this week. Key mentions included the...more

Part I - TCPA: Regulatory - Calls By or on Behalf of the Federal Government

A number of organizations filed comments and/or reply comments regarding the National Consumer Law Center (“NCLC”)’s Petition for Reconsideration of the Broadnet Declaratory Ruling, which asks that the FCC reconsider its...more

FDA to Host Public Hearing on Manufacturer Communications Regarding Unapproved Uses of Medical Products

On November 9 and 10, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is hosting a public hearing on “Manufacturer Communications Regarding Unapproved Uses of Approved or Cleared Medical Products.” The hearing is intended to...more

The Harbor Might Not Be Safe: Failure To Update Generic Drug Labels Can Invite a Storm of State-Law Claims

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled on August 22 that consumers’ state-law claims that manufacturers of a generic Reglan, a heartburn medication, did not adequately warn about its risks are not preempted by federal law....more

New FDA Draft Guidance Helps Define the Scope of §510(k) Medical Device Preemption

Earlier this month the FDA issued a draft guidance entitled “Deciding When to Submit a 510(k) for a Change to an Existing Device.” It’s long, and anyone interested in reviewing the whole thing can download it from the FDA’s...more

Final Order against Practice Fusion Approved by FTC

On August 16, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the final order resolving its privacy complaints against Practice Fusion. The complaint alleged that Practice Fusion “misled consumers by soliciting reviews for...more

FDA Issues Final Guidance on General Wellness Products

On July 28, 2016, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized guidance stating that the agency does not plan to regulate “general wellness products,” including software applications, provided they present a...more

Hospital Text Messaging Rules Placed on Hold by Joint Commission

The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals and other health care organizations, hit pause on its prior May 2016 announcement to allow secure text messaging in hospitals and other health care organizations. The use of...more

Congress Passes GMO Labeling Bill – Preempting State Labeling Laws

In response to recent state efforts to regulate the labeling of food products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the U.S. House of Representatives, on July 14, passed S. 764, a Senate-initiated bill...more

Potassium Chloride Should Be Potassium Salt On Food Labels

On June 27, 2016, NuTek Food Science LLC filed a citizen petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that, if granted, will provide great benefits to consumers by helping the FDA and the food industry in their efforts...more

PowerPoint Slides: Could My Company's Website Violate the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), places of public accommodation must ensure equal access to the goods and services they offer to disabled individuals. Is a company website subject to the ADA? The answer to...more

Webinar: Could My Company's Website Violate the Americans with Disabilities Act? [Video]

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), places of public accommodation must ensure equal access to the goods and services they offer to disabled individuals. Is a company website subject to the ADA? The answer to...more

Advertising Law - June 2016

First Circuit Affirms Ruling Against Jerk.com - In a victory for the Federal Trade Commission, the First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a Commission ruling that website Jerk.com, a self-described reputation management...more

Health Law Pulse - June 2016

On May 9, 2016, a federal district court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania rejected a request from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the pending merger (Merger) between Penn...more

Facebook, Healthcare Provider Websites and HIPAA

In a class action Complaint filed in the Northern District of California on March 15, 2016, Kiesel Law LLP, on behalf of primary plaintiff Winston Smith and a potential class of others, alleges that Facebook received...more

Mobile App Compliance for Dummies: New Tool Helps Developers Understand Their Legal Compliance Requirements

In a joint effort by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), HHS Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a new web-based tool...more

Federal Agencies Provide User-Friendly Guidance on Compliance with Data Privacy Laws

How federal privacy laws apply to mobile health applications has been an area of significant ambiguity. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil...more

Regulators Offer Guidance on Privacy and Security for Health App Developers

This month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued guidance on privacy and security best practices for health-related mobile apps, such as fitness apps connected with wearables, diet and weight loss apps, and health...more

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