[ Thursday, December 27, 2007 ]


Maine follows New Hampshire: Maine enacted a law similar to New Hampshire to prevent "data mining" of physician prescribing patterns. Drug companies and their minions buy this information from pharmacies, and us it to target market to particular physicians who (i) aren't prescribing enough of their drugs and instead prescribing another drugmaker's drug, or (ii) are prescribing enough but the data indicates they might want to consider other treatments. You can easily see how this could be used for good purposes (drug regimens change all the time, and perhaps the doctor is behind the times to the detriment of his patients) or bad (the information is always incomplete because some of the doctor's patients may use other pharmacies, the drug companies will be pushing for use of more expensive/profitable drugs, etc.). So some states made it illegal for that information to be shared by pharmacies.

The data miners challenged these laws, and won a notable case in New Hampshire (that I blogged about below). Now, a judge in Maine has struck down that state's law as well. The opinion is here.

Hat tips: Alan Goldberg and Arnie Friede

Jeff [10:43 AM]

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