Data providers challenge prescription-privacy laws

A group of large vendors that makes its living selling medical data to pharma companies is challenging state laws in Maine and Vermont that make physicians prescription-writing private. The companies, which include IMS Health of Norwalk, Conn., Wolters Kluwer Health of Conshohocken, Pa. and Verispan of Yardley, Pa., sell data on prescribing patterns to pharmaceutical companies. The three are asking federal courts to block the states from enforcing the laws on this subject. There's a lot at stake here, since such data is an invaluable tool for drug reps when they call on physicians and make their pitch.

What are the vendors' odds? Well, they succeeded in getting a similar, groundbreaking New Hampshire law overturned, arguing the law unconstitutionally restricted their use of physician prescribing data. I'd give it a 50/50 shot.

To learn more about the companies' legal strategy:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

Related Article:
N.H. bans prescription data collection by pharmas. Report
Law would make pharmas reveal MD payments. Report