It looks like the prescription data miners have won another victory. After successfully challenging a similar law in New Hampshire, Wolters Kluwer Health, IMS Health and Verispan have won an action blocking the state of Maine from enforcing a law limiting their access to physician prescribing information. Companies like these gather data on physician prescribing patterns, then sell it to pharmas, who use it tailoring their physician marketing campaigns. But several states, including Maine and New Hampshire, have considered or implemented laws restricting this practice.
In enacting such laws, legislators have argued that prescription data-mining and sales can lead to pharmas having undue influence over physicians, and ultimately, to increased healthcare costs due to the undue use of costly new drugs. The companies, however, have argued that restricting their access to this information violated their First Amendment rights. The decision follows the April 2007 overturning of a similar (but more restrictive) law which had been enacted New Hampshire.
To find out more about the decision:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report piece