Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 45 (s1):69-72 (2017)
AbstractThe importance of legal epidemiology in public health law research has undoubtedly grown over the last five years. Scholars and practitioners together have developed guidance on best practices for the field, including: placing emphasis on transdisciplinary collaborations; creating valid, reliable, and repeatable research; and publishing timely products for use in decision-making and change. Despite the energy and expertise researchers have brought to this important work, they name significant challenges in marshalling the diverse skill sets, quality controls, and funding to implement legal epidemiology activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has worked to develop cross-cutting research and translation on issues of national priority in legal epidemiology, and has explored ways to overcome some of these challenges. As such, this article describes a case study of the use of law to characterize states' prior authorization policies regarding medication used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, a central component of a broader effort to improve behavior therapy options for young children with ADHD. This article highlights the types of legal epidemiology work we have undertaken, the application of this work to an emerging public health problem, and the lessons learned in creating impactful research for the field.
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