Kevin Outterson

Professor of Law
Professor of Health Law, Bioethics and Human Rights

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B.S., Northwestern University
J.D., Northwestern University
University of Reading, Rotary Scholar
LL.M., University of Cambridge

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Professor Outterson teaches health law and corporate law at Boston University, where he co-directs the Health Law Program, currently ranked #2 in the country by US News. He serves as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics; faculty co-advisor to the American Journal of Law & Medicine; past chair of the Section… Read more

Professor Outterson teaches health law and corporate law at Boston University, where he co-directs the Health Law Program, currently ranked #2 in the country by US News. He serves as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics; faculty co-advisor to the American Journal of Law & Medicine; past chair of the Section on Law, Medicine & Health Care of the AALS; and a member of the Board of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Before teaching, Professor Outterson was a partner at two major U.S. law firms.

His research work focuses on the organization and finance of the health sector. Areas of specialization include global pharmaceutical markets, particularly antibiotics and other antimicrobials that can degrade in usefulness over time through resistance. He leads an interdisciplinary project on the legal ecology of antimicrobial resistance, funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program on public health law. He is a faculty affiliate at the Harvard Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics and an appointed member of the Antimicrobial Resistance Working Group at the CDC.

Another significant body of work critiques access and equity issues created by global patent and drug regulation laws. Key texts in this debate include the WTO TRIPS Agreement and related trade agreements.

Professor Outterson publishes in both legal journals such as Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law & Ethics; Cardozo Law Review; University of Pittsburgh Law Review; Kansas Law Review and the American Journal of Law & Medicine as well as peer-reviewed medical and health policy journals such as New England Journal of Medicine; Health Affairs; Lancet Infectious Diseases; Environmental Philosophy; Medical Journal of Australia; Journal of Generic Medicines; Clinical Infectious Diseases; Journal of Law, and Medicine & Ethics. He blogs on health policy issues at, which is one of the leading health economics blogs in the US.

On behalf of The New England Journal of Medicine and other clients, Outterson filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, supporting Vermont’s prescription privacy law. His work was cited by Justice Breyer in Sorrell v. IMS Health. A team led by Professors Outterson and Moncrieff at Boston University filed four amicus briefs supporting the Affordable Care Act, which was heard by the Court in the spring of 2012.

Outterson was recently appointed a Visiting Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, Chatham House where he will reside in Spring 2014, leading a working group at Chatham House on new business models to prevent antimicrobial resistance.


    In the Media

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    • Innovative ways to pay for new antibiotics will help fight superbugs

      April 11, 2018

      STAT Kevin Outterson Antibiotics are the most important drug class in human history. Without them, minor infections like strep throat or urinary tract infections could turn deadly… Expert quote: “Strong rules on antibiotic stewardship and access would be needed to make sure these drugs aren’t wasted, but are delivered to the right patient at the […]

    • The financial barrier to developing antibiotics? No big payday for drug companies

      August 3, 2017

      PBS interviewing Kevin Outterson, School of Law “As current antibiotics begin to lose their punch, there’s an economic reality putting a damper on development…” Expert quote: “The last time that we had a new class of gram-negative antibiotics, approved for human use, that drug was discovered the year that I was born, 1962.” View full […]

    • Pharmacist Gets 9-Year Prison Term in Deadly Meningitis Outbreak

      June 27, 2017

      New York Times quoting Kevin Outterson, School of Law “The tainted injection left Rachelle Shuff with pain that requires 15 medications to manage and, she said, perhaps only two years to live…” Expert quote: “We’ve done very little to make sure that this won’t happen again.” View full article. 

    • Searching For New Ways To Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

      April 5, 2017

      WBUR Kevin Outterson, School of Law Our next guest is spearheading a new initiative to try to combat suberbugs — bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics… Listen to full audio  

    • Mixed Verdicts In NECC Trial

      March 28, 2017

      WBUR Kevin Outterson, School of Law “The former co-owner of the New England Compounding Center, the pharmaceutical company at the center of a meningitis outbreak in 2012, has been found not guilty on the most serious charges in that trial but convicted of other charges…” Expert quote: “If a drug company is making [a drug], […]

    • How to Avoid a Post-Antibiotic World

      January 19, 2017

      New York Times By Kevin Outterson, School of Law “On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a disturbing report about the death of an elderly woman in Washoe County, Nev…” View full op-ed

    • Trials of Compounding Pharmacists Facing Murder Charges Draw Closer

      January 5, 2017

      Wall Street Journal Kevin Outterson, School of Law Two pharmacists face second-degree murder charges in coming trials in connection with the sale of a contaminated pain medication that caused a deadly U.S. outbreak of fungal meningitis in 2012… Expert quote: The trials against Messrs. Cadden and Chen could reveal important details about what led to […]

    • Antibiotic maker’s stock sinks after FDA notes safety signal

      November 4, 2016

      STAT News Kevin Outterson, School of Law At a time of growing interest in antibiotic development, a Wall Street bet on what some billed as a potential blockbuster appears to be going sour… Expert quote: “We do need some success stories in this area and, right now, this is not one of them.” View full […]

    • The UN is finally treating antibiotic-resistant superbugs like a catastrophic threat

      September 21, 2016

      Vox Kevin Outterson, School of Law In the history of the United Nations, the General Assembly has only held high-level meetings on health issues three times: for HIV, Ebola, and chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity… Expert quote: “The last time the UN was poised to take major action on antimicrobial resistance was September 11, 2001, [and] the […]

    • Special Report – ‘Botox Police’: FDA crime unit draws fire over import crackdown

      September 15, 2016

      Reuters Kevin Outterson, School of Law On April 5, 2012, a criminal investigator from the Food and Drug Administration named Robert West charged into an oncology clinic in Greenville, Tennessee. Expert quote: “You would hope they would focus on people endangering the public health.” View full article

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