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Robert A. Bohrer

Professor of Law

LL.M. Harvard University
J.D. University of Illinois
B.A. Haverford College [psychology]
225 Cedar Street
(619) 525-1435
Food and Drug Law, Torts II, Administrative Law, Biotechnology Law Seminar

Bob Bohrer is a Professor of Law at California Western School of Law where he has been a member of the faculty since 1982. Professor Bohrer practiced with the Chicago law firm of Bell, Boyd & Lloyd before returning to academia. Although he has written about such varied topics as the constitutionality of I.Q. testing in the public schools, congressional control of affirmative action, and the risks of toxic substances, since 1984 he has focused primarily on the legal issues raised by developments in biotechnology and pharmaceutical policy.

Professor Bohrer was one of the first full-time law teachers in the United States to concentrate on the emerging area of biotechnology law. His current research is focused on the way in which drug development and use is influenced by a number of areas of law, including FDA approval, patent law, insurance and reimbursement, and the First Amendment commercial speech doctrine. Professor Bohrer’s extensive experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical policy include serving as chair of the Biolaw Section of the AALS (2015), membership on the Emerging Technology Research Advisory Committee (ETRAC), Bureau of Industry Security at the U.S. Department of Commerce (2016-2018), and the Council of the ABA Section of Science and Technology. He was the only law professor to serve on the board of directors of the Biotechnology Institute of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Bohrer was executive editor of Biotechnology Law Report from 1999 to 2011. He previously served as director of Biotechnology Programs at the University of California at San Diego's Center for Molecular Genetics, the Institutional Biosafety Committee at UCSD, and on the board of directors of the La Jolla Institute for Molecular Medicine. While in law school at Illinois, he was a member of Law Review and a teaching assistant in the College of Commerce. His blog posts have appeared in Health Affairs and Bill of Health.In addition to traditional law reviews, he has been published in Nature Biotechnology and The New England Journal of Medicine. (Correspondence).

Professor Bohrer’s first book From Research to Revolution: Scientific, Business, and Legal Perspectives on the New Biotechnology (1987) was one of the first interdisciplinary examinations of the many issues raised by the commercialization of molecular biology. His second book, A Guide to Biotechnology Law and Business (Carolina Academic Press 2007) was the first single-authored treatise on biotech law. His articles have been quoted in the text of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion (City of Richmond v. Croson, 488 U.S. 469 at 491 (1989)) and major law school textbooks on product liability and environmental law.

He received a B.A. from Haverford College, a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. While at California Western Bohrer developed an interdisciplinary program for lawyers, scientists, and business executives to explore issues of concern to the developing biotech industry, leading to his appointment as Director of Biotechnology Programs at the Center for Molecular Genetics of UCSD from 1992 to 1999. Bohrer currently serves on the Board of the Rees-Stealy Research Foundation and has previously served on the Boards of Hygeia Pharmaceuticals (now Viventia Bio) and Myelos Neurosciences (successfully acquired by a larger company).

Books

  • Robert A. Bohrer, A Guide to Biotechnology Law and Business (Carolina Academic Press 2007).

Articles

  • Drug Prices, Dying Patients, and the Pharmaceutical Marketplace: A New Conditional Approval Pathway For Critical Unmet Medical Needs, 12 Drexel L. Rev. 1 (2019).
  • Direct-To-Consumer Ads Are Misleading: Concise Statements of Effectiveness Should Be Required, 22 J. Health Care L. & Pol'y 209 (2020).
  • Robert A. Bohrer, Reach-Through Patent Claims to Drug Targets: An Rx for Pharmaceutical Policy, 26 Nature Biotechnology 55 (2008).

Scholarly Presentations

  • Real World Evidence and Biosimilar Approval, presented to the American Society for Law Medicine and Ethics, Chicago, IL, June 7, 2019.
  • Biosecurity Means Ultra-Rapid Response, presented to the 7th Annual Governance of Emerging Technologies and Science Conference, Phoenix, AZ May 23, 2019.
  • The Future of Human Evolution in the New Era of Gene Therapy: A New Frontier for Equitable Access, Cleveland, OH, June 9, 2018.
  • The New Era of Gene Therapy and the Challenges of Equitable Access and Diversity, presented to the 6thAnnual Governance of Emerging Technologies and Science Conference, Phoenix, AZ May 17, 2018.
  • A Rawlsian Approach to Big Healthcare Data: We’re Still Behind the Veil, So What’s the Deal?, presented to the American Society for Law Medicine and Ethics, Boston, MA, June 4, 2016.
  • A Rawlsian Approach to Big Healthcare Data, presented to the Fourth Annual Conference on the Governance of Emerging Technologies, Tempe, AZ, May 24, 2016.