Ian Spatz is a Senior Advisor in the national health care practice of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP and Manatt Health. He advises clients on national health care policies and programs; pharmaceutical pricing, including as it relates to Medicare and Medicaid; intellectual property protection; and policies related to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of the research, approval, manufacturing and marketing of medicines. Ian is also the founder and principal of the policy consulting firm Rock Creek Policy Group.


Prior to joining Manatt, Mr. Spatz served 15 years in increasingly responsible positions at Merck & Co. Inc., one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and vaccine companies. As Merck’s vice president for global health policy, he directed U.S. public policy and related public affairs activities and represented the company before Congress, the Administration and the media.


Before joining Merck, Mr. Spatz served as legislative director for Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). In that role, he directed the senator’s legislative staff in developing and implementing legislative strategies, proposal drafting and floor action, including coordinating the passage of appropriations bills.


Mr. Spatz is a member of the faculty of the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy where he teaches courses in health economics and health law. He is an attorney, licensed to practice in the District of Columbia. He is a graduate of Brandeis University, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs of Princeton University, and the New York University School of Law.


Recent Posts by Ian Spatz

Scott Gottlieb And The Goldilocks Theory Of Bringing Change To The FDA

With the nomination of Dr. Scott Gottlieb to head the FDA headed to the Senate floor, we can expect another Goldilocks debate about whether today’s FDA is too lenient, too tough, or just right in reviewing new prescription drugs.

The Future Of Essential Health Benefits

The Essential Health Benefits requirement may be on the chopping block as the Administration and Congress seek to repeal and replace the ACA. An understanding of how the EHB rule did and did not change the pre-ACA status quo can help put concerns about EHB into context and inform the path forward.

Medicare Part D Proposed Rule: Where Did Things Go Wrong?

It’s worth sitting up and taking notice when everyone seems to hate what you are doing. Last week, 20 of the 24 members of the sometimes fractious Senate Finance Committee wrote Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner about a Medicare Part D proposed rule CMS...

Premium Rate Variation In Exchanges Is An Eye Opener

Like a burlesque strip tease for health policy wonks, the slow motion unveiling of premiums for state health insurance exchanges has generated a lot of attention, unease, and, yes, excitement. The 2014 premiums, the first for Obamacare’s centerpiece feature of health insurance marketplaces,...

Defining Essential Benefits: Congress’ Once And Future Role

A non-governmental advisory body has begun to define one of the most important elements of last year’s health reform law. A committee of the Institute of Medicine will develop recommendations to the Department of Health and Human Services on how to define an “essential health benefit.” The...

The Case For A Follow-On Biologics Global Health Exclusivity Incentive

Global health issues, especially those affecting the world’s poor, rarely gain anywhere near the attention that the U.S. public and policymakers give to domestic concerns.  However, in one small corner of the current health reform discussion, there is a golden opportunity not only to reduce...

BIOTECH: Evaluating Interventions With No Close Substitutes

What is the appropriate price for a biotechnology product? Jamie Robinson’s thoughtful post touches all the right bases in arguing that discussing the role of value in pricing is far preferable to discussing the cost of research, development and production.