A federal judge has struck down a landmark New Hampshire law banning the use of physician-specific prescription data. The judge held that the 2006 ban, the first in the United States, violated commercial free speech. The decision is a major win for the pharmaceutical industry, which relies heavily on prescriber data to target its physician marketing efforts. The reversal was prompted by legal challenges from prescription data vendors IMS Health and Verispan, which buy sales data from pharmacies, match it up with physicians and sell the combined data to pharmas. The decision could very well slow the progress of similar legislation being considered in a dozen other states. New Hampshire state officials, for their part, haven't decided yet whether they plan to appeal the ruling.
To get more background on the decision:
- read this article from The Philadelphia Inquirer
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