Federal appeals court upholds NH data mining ban

The federal appeals court in Boston has dealt data mining companies like IMS Health and Verispan a huge blow by reinstating a New Hampshire law that bans the sale of doctor-specific prescription data.

The law, which was due to go into effect back in 2006, was successfully fought off at the time by the companies, who claimed that it infringed on their corporate free speech. However, the federal court ruled in favor of the law.

Vermont and Maine, in the same appellate district, have similar laws in the works that have faced legal challenges. This decision should open the door for those laws, and may also encourage other states to pass similar laws preventing the practice of selling the data.

The court said that the state had made a compelling case that barring such data mining would help reduce the cost of healthcare.

To learn more about the fight for drug privacy:
- read this New York Times piece