Elizabeth Hardcastle is an associate in the Healthcare practice in the Washington, D.C. office. She focuses her practice on healthcare regulatory and compliance matters, including strategic counseling in connection with public policy proposals and implementation issues. Beth competed on the U.S. Paralympic Swim Team in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
“I am so grateful for the advocates who came before me and made the ADA possible. In addition to their critical work in getting the ADA and similar disability rights laws passed, my life is enriched by the disability community they helped create.”
What attracted you to the practice of law and what aspect of your practice do you enjoy the most?
My firsthand experiences with the healthcare system as a wheelchair user gave me a lasting passion for finding new policy solutions. During college, I spent a summer interning on Capitol Hill and saw how impactful the policy and legal side of healthcare could be, which led me to law school and Sidley. I enjoy translating this original passion into my life sciences regulatory practice, advising emerging and established life sciences clients on the complex and ever-changing healthcare legal landscape.
What is the most memorable matter you led and what made it so memorable?
I am fortunate to have worked on a number of exciting and memorable matters at Sidley. One of my current favorite clients is an emerging pharmaceutical company bringing its first drug to market – a drug that is being studied to treat a rare disease that currently has no other FDA-approved treatment options. That work has involved leading a compliance review, managing two government filings related to healthcare codes needed for the drug, and advising on a number of pricing and distribution issues as they prepare to launch the drug. A few years ago, I also worked with our government affairs team in representing a wheelchair manufacturer and successfully worked to have Congress pass a law preventing the applicable government agency from cutting Medicare reimbursement for our client’s product. We thought that the bill would not pass before the cuts went into effect and Congress left for recess, but our bill was one of a handful Congress voted on and passed hours before it adjourned for the holidays.
When you reflect on the 31st anniversary of the ADA, what are you most grateful for? What makes you smile?
I am so grateful for the advocates who came before me and made the ADA possible. In addition to their critical work in getting the ADA and similar disability rights laws passed, my life is enriched by the disability community they helped create. The disability community’s collective pride continues to grow as we see of our members in leadership roles, being celebrated in the media, and excelling in athletics (I’m excited for the Tokyo Paralympics!).
Everybody has a walk-up song. What’s yours?
Before starting my career at Sidley, I was a competitive swimmer and competed on the U.S. Paralympic team, so I definitely had a walk-up song! Part of my pre-race ritual was to always listen to “Jump” from Van Halen. My swim coach introduced me to Van Halen and it was frequently played during swim practices. I still sometimes put it on for an energy boost when completing a late-night assignment!