Court upholds Vermont law on prescription data mining

In July, a new law will go into effect in Vermont prohibiting the use of a physician's prescribing history without their consent. The law has been challenged vigorously by a handful of pharmaceutical interests, including the powerful Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and three data-mining companies, most recently by attempting to stop the law from going into effect.

This week, however, a federal appeals court in New York has refused to block the Vermont law from going into effect, disappointing data mining companies IMS Health, Verispan and Source Healthcare analytics. The court said it wouldn't grant an injunction since the companies involved hadn't shown a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their case.

The Vermont ruling follows a decision by a Boston appeals court which upheld a similar New Hampshire law limiting the commercial use of  prescription info. The New Hampshire measure specifically blocks the commercial use of information containing patient- and prescriber-identifiable data for pharmacy reimbursement, formulary compliance, care management, utilization review, health plans or healthcare research.

To learn more about this decision:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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