Richard Hughes is a multi-talented health lawyer, strategic advisor, advocate, and teacher.

His thought leadership and problem-solving strategies have broken barriers to access for vaccines and medicines. His advice on legal and policy solutions is sought after by leading biopharmaceutical companies, industry trade associations, investors, patient advocacy organizations, members of Congress, and federal agencies.

Richard's practice emphasizes vaccines, prevention, and early intervention. Health care and life sciences clients value his guidance and counsel on legal, regulatory, and policy issues, as well as his ability to assemble multidisciplinary consulting teams to offer strategic business advice and build market development strategies.

Richard returned to Epstein Becker Green after serving as Managing Director at a leading Washington health care advisory firm and Vice President at a major vaccine manufacturer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Before becoming an attorney, Richard served in several health policy leadership roles. He was a gubernatorial appointee to the Arkansas State Board of Health, where he deliberated regulatory policy, presided over appeals before the state health department, and advocated for vaccine access. Richard has also held roles at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and with another leading biopharmaceutical company.

Outside of his practice, Richard devotes his time to teaching and mentoring students. He is a Professorial Lecturer in Law at The George Washington University Law School and previously served as a Professorial Lecturer in Health Policy & Management at the Milken Institute School of Public Health.

He publishes regularly in health law and policy journals, frequently writes commentary on Health Affairs Forefront, and is often quoted in the news media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NPR's Marketplace.

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Focus Areas


Legal Counsel

  • Serves as outside legal counsel to a variety of health care companies, including drug, device, vaccine, and functional beverage manufacturers; retail pharmacies; and genetic testing companies.

Public Policy Strategy

  • Develops federal and state policy strategies for vaccine and other biopharmaceutical manufacturers, and advises clients on strategies for engaging state and federal agencies, including FDA, CDC, CMS, and BARDA.

Business Advisor

  • Counsels investors and startups on market trends and developments in health care, including identifying total addressable markets. Richard also facilitates multidisciplinary expert input and advisory boards for clients.

Product Launch Advice

  • Advises multiple manufacturers on launch strategy for new vaccines and other products.
  • Advises novel, non-vaccine developers on strategies for obtaining a “vaccine-like” recommendation, coverage, and reimbursement pathway.

Thought Leadership

  • Influences public policy development as a thought leader in the field of preventive health care and public health. Richard advised or engaged the White House, HHS, CDC, and Congressional offices on the development of vaccine policy.

Legal Advocacy

  • Represents a national nonprofit HIV and hepatitis advocacy organization as amicus curiae in a forthcoming federal appeal.

Research and Analysis

  • Conducted many 50-state analyses of laws, regulations, and Medicaid coverage policies, as well as payor coverage analyses. Richard led studies using survey methods and claims-based analyses of vaccine-preventable disease burden and uptake in Medicare and other markets.


  • Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health
  • Health Affairs, Top 10 Most-Read Health Affairs Blog Posts of 2019 (No. 9) (2019)
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, Center Stage Alumni (2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©: “Ones to Watch” in Health Care Law (2024)



  • The George Washington University Law School (J.D.)
    • Health Law
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (M.P.H.)
  • Arkansas State University (B.S.)

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association, Health Law Section
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • American Journal of Public Health, Peer-Reviewer
  • American Public Health Association
  • American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics
  • Arkansas State Board of Health (Gubernatorial Appointment) (2006 to 2009)
  • National Vaccine Law Conference, Board of Directors
  • Thomson Reuters Practical Law’s Health Care and Life Sciences Service, Advisory Board






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