Barnes to Speak at 2023 Rx Summit

Michael C. Barnes, Esq., Principal Attorney at Sequel Legal, will speak and moderate in-person at the 2023 Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, April 10-13. Barnes will participate in the following educational programs:

April 10: Moderating the “Designing, Implementing, and Evaluating Large-Scale Stigma Reduction Campaigns” session, which will focus on how to reduce stigma associated with SUD, specifically examining how stakeholders at many levels across Pennsylvania collaborated to design, implement, and evaluate the nation’s first innovative, evidenced-based statewide SUD stigma reduction campaign, Life Unites Us. 

April 11: Moderating the “Digital Therapeutics: What They Are and How to Integrate Them in Addiction Treatment Workflows” session, which will discuss the emerging role of digital therapeutics (DTx) in the treatment of substance use disorders (SUDs), including co-implementation alongside telehealth solutions, to help address the barriers to effective delivery of neurobehavioral care.

April 12: Presenting the “All Hands, All Branches: Expanding Advocacy to the Judicial Branch” session, which will describe firsthand how participants can help deploy the judicial branch to yield SUD-related policy change. Speakers will make actionable recommendations for how Rx Summit participants can expand their advocacy into the judicial branch. 

Learn more about the 2023 Rx Summit.

Barnes to Speak at Drug Policy Webinar

Michael C. Barnes, Esq., Principal Attorney at Sequel Legal, will speak at the upcoming webinar “Change Is Law: A Federal Drug Policy Update”, hosted by The Center for U.S. Policy and Community Impact NC. Below is a description of the webinar:

Change Is Law: A Federal Drug Policy Update
March 29, 2023, 10 AM – 11 AM ET

The federal government’s COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) declaration will end on May 11, 2023. The drug poisoning PHE, first declared in 2017, is certain to be extended, as more than 100,500 fatal drug poisonings occurred in the U.S. in the 12 months ending in September 2022.

In response to the drug poisoning crisis and in relation to the end of the COVID-19 PHE, federal drug policy changes are occurring rapidly. These changes will affect substance use disorder (SUD) prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction.

During this free, one-hour webinar, drug policy professionals will address:

  • Which COVID-19 PHE regulatory flexibilities will be made permanent, and which will be rolled back;
  • How upcoming changes may impact SUD, prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction;
  • A new law facilitating research on cannabinoids;
  • The elimination of the DATA 2000 waiver requirement for prescribers of buprenorphine for opioid use disorder (OUD);
  • New rules improving access to methadone for OUD; and
  • A recent report providing a glimmer of hope that substance misuse may be in decline.

The session will conclude with a Q&A.

This webinar is intended for people with a moderate or higher understanding of SUD prevention, treatment, recovery, and harm reduction policies and practices.

Register here.


Barnes to Speak at Rx Summit

Michael C. Barnes, Esq., Principal Attorney at Sequel Legal, will speak and moderate in-person at the 2022 Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, April 18-20. Barnes will participate in the following educational programs:

April 18: Opioid Settlement: Protecting and Optimizing Proceeds. Barnes will moderate and speak during this session, which will provide an overview of the efforts being taken by state and local governments to ensure that opioid litigation proceeds will help prevent or treat substance use disorders and their adverse outcomes, and support recovery. Speakers will discuss the Model Opioid Litigation Proceeds Act, which community leaders and policymakers can use to advocate for the adoption of state laws to ensure that opioid litigation proceeds are used to prevent and respond to drug poisonings, treat substance use disorders, and support recovery. The Model Opioid Litigation Proceeds Act was researched and drafted by the Legislative Analysis and Policy Association in collaboration with the O’Neill Institute at Georgetown Law Center, the Center for U.S. Policy, and Brown and Weinraub, and with the input of subject matter experts and peer reviewers.

April 19: Data to Action: How ATLAS® and Quality Metrics Support Transformation of the Addiction Treatment System. Barnes will moderate this session, which will examine the ways that data has changed views of substance use disorder treatment, and how that change affects the lives of people with substance use disorders.

April 20: Tennessee Recovery Navigators: Connecting Patients to Treatment From Hospital Emergency Departments. Barnes will moderate this session, which will discuss innovative ways patients in Tennessee are accessing critical treatments for substance use disorders from hospital emergency departments.

Learn more about the 2022 Rx Summit. Publishes Worthy Op-Ed on Insurance Coverage of Marijuana

Today, the Star-Ledger ( published an op-ed by Sequel Legal Principal Attorney Stacey Worthy discussing mandatory insurance coverage of marijuana products. As counsel to Aimed Alliance, Worthy explains that requiring coverage of non-FDA-approved marijuana products could do more harm than good. Some patients may look to marijuana to treat complex medical conditions, yet non-FDA-approved products are not required to be backed by clinical evidence. As a result, they “can have unpredictable and unintended consequences,” according to the FDA. The Star-Ledger is New Jersey’s largest online newspaper.

European Commission Publishes Final Version of Standard Contractual Clauses, Imposes Obligations on Data Controllers and Processors

On June 4, 2021, the European Commission published the final version of the implementing decision on standard contractual clauses (“SCC”) for transfers of personal data to third countries under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).  The Commission also released the final version of the new SCCs. (LINK) The new version of the SCCs is in part a response to the decision in the Schrems II case, which raised questions about whether they provide necessary protections for the trans-Atlantic transfer of data. The European Commission’s release in November 2020 of draft versions of the implementing decision and the SCCs was discussed previously in this blog.

The guidance makes clear that companies using SCCs will face new compliance challenges. The implementing decision makes the important point that the controllers and processors will need to do more in advance of signing them.  To fulfill SCC requirements, companies – whether data importers or data exporters – will need to understand the nature and extent of the data being transferred and the and establish protections necessary to comply with the requirements of the SCCs.  Stated simply, companies will need to conduct a data protection impact assessment to understand what risks the transfer of data will raise and take steps to address them.

Companies will also need to document the steps it takes to fulfill the requirements of the SCCs.

The implementing decision also imposes significant additional requirements:

  • The controller and processor should be able to demonstrate compliance;
  • The importer should maintain appropriate documentation for the processing activities for which it is responsible;
  • The data importer should be required to inform the data exporter promptly if it is unable to comply with the clauses, for whatever reason; and
  • Should the data importer breach the clauses or be unable to comply with them, the data exporter should end the transfer of data and, in serious cases, have the right to terminate the contract, as it concerns the processing of personal data under the SCCs.

Clearly decision means organizations have to take far more significant action than previously. SCCs are intended to ensure that organizations implement appropriate data protection safeguards for international data transfers. Therefore, the controller or processor transferring the personal data to a third country (the ‘data exporter’) and the controller or processor receiving the personal data (the ‘data importer’) can incorporate those standard contractual clauses in a wider contract and add other clauses or additional safeguards, provided they do not contradict the standard contractual clauses or prejudice the fundamental rights or freedoms of data subjects. Controllers and processors are encouraged to provide additional safeguards by means of contractual commitments that supplement the standard contractual clauses.

All old SCCs likely will need to be replaced with the new SCCs, at the latest, by approximately December 2022. For many organizations with a large number of contractual relationships, that means time is of the essence.