Rulings Protect Generic Drugmakers and Overturn Data-mining Ban

Published: Jun 24, 2011

Doctors, the Supreme Court has just ruled that your prescribing data can indeed be used without your consent by pharma companies who want to market their drugs to you. As the WSJ reports, the court ruled 6-3 that a Vermont law barring data companies such as IMS Health from selling that info to drug companies violated the First Amendment. ( Here’s the opinion.) The data is stripped of patients’, but not doctors’, identities. Vermont and its supporters said the practice invaded medical privacy and helped push up drug spending by improving pharma-industry marketing efficiency. The data companies and their backers said the state can’t make judgments on how the information is used — if, for example, it’s allowed to be used to help with recalls, it also has to be available to marketers.

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