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This talk operates at the intersection of privacy law, Fourth Amendment doctrine, and prescription-drug surveillance instigated by the United States drug-overdose crisis. Reputable reporting sources frequently frame that ongoing crisis as a prescription-drug-overdose “epidemic.” Current epidemiological data, however, indicate that the majority of American overdose deaths are now a result of illicit and polysubstance drug use and not prescription-opioid misuse. The prescription-opioid-centric frame has nonetheless sparked the rapid rise of surveillance of prescribers and patients in the form of state prescription-drug monitoring program (“PDMP”) databases. State PDMPs, which maintain and analyze significant data concerning every dispensed controlled substance, surreptitiously collect a stunning amount of sensitive health information. PDMPs are predominantly law enforcement investigative tools dressed up in public-health-promoting rhetoric. The Supreme Court’s recent Fourth Amendment decision in Carpenter v. United States, however, may limit the DEA’s otherwise unfettered access to state PDMP databases.
Jennifer D. Oliva is an Associate Professor at the Seton Hall University School of Law where she specializes in health, FDA, and evidence law. An honors graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, Professor Oliva was a Public Interest Law Scholar and served as Executive Notes & Comments Editor of The Georgetown Law Journal. Prior to attending law school, Professor Oliva earned a Masters in Business Administration at Balliol College, Oxford University. She was elected as a Rhodes and Truman Scholar while a cadet at the United States Military Academy. After law school, Professor Oliva served as a federal appellate law clerk to the Honorable Stephanie K. Seymour on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the Honorable Thomas L. Ambro on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She was subsequently appointed Deputy State Solicitor of the State of Delaware by then-Attorney General Beau Biden.
Professor Oliva has worked in the appellate and health/FDA law practice groups at national law firms and served as the General Counsel and Vice President of a regional behavioral health care company. She is United States Army veteran and admitted to the bar in Delaware, California, the District of Columbia, and West Virginia. She also is admitted to numerous United States district and appellate courts, including the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and the United States Supreme Court.