September 26, 2006

Law-Medicine Center lecture on emergency contraception begins 2006-2007 lecture series at Case Western Reserve University

Susan F. Wood, researcher and former policymaker with the Food and Drug Administration, to deliver Oliver C. Schroeder, Jr. Scholar-in-Residence Lecture at School of Law


Was clinical and scientific evidence ignored in the case to bring Plan B emergency contraception over the counter? That is one of the questions that Susan F. Wood, Ph.D., research professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health & Health Services in Washington, D.C., will pose when she delivers the annual Oliver C. Schroeder, Jr. Lecture at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

The Law-Medicine Center is sponsoring the event, which will be held Wednesday, September 27, at 4:30 p.m. in the Moot Courtroom (A59) at the law school, 11075 East Blvd. Wood's lecture, "The Role of Science in Health Policy Decision-Making: The Case of Emergency Contraception," will focus on the broad regulatory authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in assuring the safety and efficacy of regulated products. Wood resigned from the Food and Drug Administration because she felt the FDA ignored clinical and scientific evidence when it chose to overrule the recommendations of professional scientific staff.

Focusing on the particular case of the application to bring Plan B emergency contraception over the counter, Wood will highlight the critical role that science should play in health policy decision-making. She will discuss the negative impact on the health of women and families as well as the impact on overall FDA credibility and its ability to maintain high scientific standards.

"We are delighted to host Susan Wood for this important lecture," said Maxwell J. Mehlman, Arthur E. Petersilge Professor of Law, professor of bioethics, and director of the Law-Medicine Center. "Dr. Wood has dedicated her professional career to promoting legal, economic and health equity for women. She has been directly involved with many policy initiatives and legislative proposals which would advance biomedical research, women's health, family planning and health care reform. Her career serves as a wonderful inspiration for our students."

Dr. Wood is an accomplished researcher and policy-maker with considerable experience in the areas of international health, reproductive health, legislation and health care policy. She served as assistant commissioner for women's health and director of the FDA's Office of Women's Health for five years. She has published a number of research articles in scientific journals, as well as articles on health policy, and received many notable awards for her work. She has worked on Capitol Hill for the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues. Previously, Wood was a research scientist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The Oliver C. Schroeder, Jr. Scholar-in-Residence was established in 1986 to recognize Schroeder's 38 years of service to Case Western Reserve University School of Law as professor and acting dean. Emeritus Professor Schroeder co-founded the Law-Medicine Center in 1953 and served as its director until his retirement in 1986.

For more information call 216-368-3304, email, visit the law school's website at or contact Laura M. Massie (216)-368-4442.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, September 26, 2006 10:41 AM | News Topics: Events, HeadlinesMain, Healthcare, Lectures/Speakers, Public Policy/Politics, School of Law, School of Medicine

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