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The Potential for State Attorneys General to Promote the Public’s Health

The Attorneys General of the 50 states have considerable legal authority to protect the public’s health, yet their role in the development of health policy is often under-appreciated or misunderstood. This article analyses state Attorneys’ General current powers and provides a logic model that illustrates how the use of these powers can lead to the protection and promotion of the public’s health. The article then provides four brief case studies, to demonstrate how state Attorneys General have used their varied powers to influence policy-making and benefit the public’s health.

 
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Intellectual Property Innovations and the Pharmaceutical Industry

Aaron Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, of the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital discusses the effects on medical innovation of statutes that provide additional intellectual property rights or related incentives to pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology developers in the U.S.

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Police Interventions with Persons Affected by Mental Illnesses

Mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders constitute a global public health problem of enormous proportions. Developing and implementing cost-effective interventions to improve the lives of people with mental illnesses and comorbid substance abuse disorders remains a challenge for multiple, interfacing service systems, from public health to social welfare to law enforcement, the courts, and corrections.

 
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The Impact of TBI- and Concussion-Related Laws

It finds 44 states and Washington, DC, passed youth sports TBI laws between 2009 and 2012. No state’s youth sports TBI law focuses on primary prevention. Instead, such laws focus on increasing coaches’ and parents’ ability to identify and respond to TBIs and reducing the immediate risk of multiple TBIs.

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