Rebecca Haffajee

Rebecca Haffajee, PhD, JD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Health Management and Policy


Dr. Haffajee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health. She received her law degree and MPH in 2006, and PhD in Health Policy (Evaluative Science and Statistics) in 2016, all from Harvard. She practiced as a health care associate in the law firm of Ropes & Gray LLP from 2006-2009, where she advised domestic health care providers on regulatory compliance. She won the 2017 AcademyHealth Outstanding Dissertation Award for “Evaluating Legal Interventions Designed to Improve Behavioral Health Outcomes.”

Dr. Haffajee’s work combines detailed legal analysis with empirical investigations of the relationships between law and health. Substantively, she specializes in evaluating the effects of behavioral health and pharmaceutical policies. For example, her recent studies examine the effects of mental health and substance abuse parity laws on treatment and health outcomes, and the impacts of state prescription drug monitoring programs on opioid prescribing and prescription drug misuse and overdose. Her work has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, and the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research. 


Differential Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Effects across Specialties and Patient Populations (Haffajee, PI)8/01/17–7/31/19 – MICHR Postdoctoral Translational Scholar Program – Career development award allows study of prescription drug monitoring impacts across patient and prescriber populations using secondary data analysis, surveys, and interviews.

Opioid Prescriber Responses to Opioid Over-Prescribing Prevention Policies (Haffajee, PI) 5/01/17–4/31/18 – Walter J. McNerney Award, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health –Project surveys a nationally representative sample of physicians across four high-volume opioid prescriber specialties to understand their knowledge and perception of, and behavior changes in response to, key national-, state, and provider-level opioid over-prescribing prevention policies.

Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center U81HP29300(Co-I; Beck, PI) 10/1/16–8/31/2018 – Health Resources and Services Administration – Project conducts national studies on the behavioral health workforce, including its role in providing opioid use disorder treatments.

Addressing Payers' Challenges in Managing Novel Cancer Therapy Coverage (Co-I; Wagner, PI) 8/01/16–9/30/17 – Department of Population Medicine Faculty Grant, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute – Project studies policy around and payer reactions to novel cancer therapy coverage. 

Published Articles or Reviews

Yang TY, Larochelle MR, Haffajee RL. Managing Increasing Liability Risks Related to Opioid Prescribing. Am J Med 2017;130(3):249-50.

Yang TY, Haffajee RL. Murder Liability for Prescribing Opioids: A Way Forward? Mayo Clin Proc 2016; 91(10):1331-35.

Haffajee RL. Preventing opioid abuse with prescription drug monitoring programs: a framework for evaluating the success of state public health laws. Hastings Law J 2016; 67(6):1621-1694 (ranked 33/986 U.S. law journals).

Haffajee RL, Jena AB, Weiner SG. Mandatory use of prescription drug monitoring programs. JAMA 2015;313(9):891-892.

Haffajee RL, Parmet WE, Mello MM. What is a public health “emergency”? N Engl J Med 2014;371(11):986-988.

Haffajee RL, Bloche GM. The FCTC and the psychology of tobacco control. Asian J WTO Int’l Health Law & Pol’y 2010;5(1): 87-113.

Haffajee RL. The potential use of joint criminal enterprise theory in prosecuting crimes of rape and sexual violence at the ICTR. Harvard J Law & Gender 2006;29(1):201-221.