[ Tuesday, May 01, 2007 ]


New Hampshire Privacy Law Struck Down: A New Hampshire law deeming confidential records relating to physicians' prescribing patterns was struck down as a violation of the Free Speech guarantee of the First Amendment. Drug companies want information on which doctors are prescribing what drugs, so that they can target-market certain doctors to sell their particular pharmaceutical products. Two data-aggregating companies (who get that patient-deidentified data, complile and analyze it, and sell it to drug companies) sued, saying the law violated the first amendment freedom of speech clause, and a judge agreed. The judge basically stated that the law, which was supported by AARP and other organizations, had good public policy reasons behind it, but those were not sufficient to allow a restriction on otherwise free speech.

And, Mike Hubbard and David Wilson wrote a paper that included an analysis of this las (and general policies encouraging the use of deidentified PHI) and its potential conflicts with the First Amendment, HIPAA, and the Dormant Commerce Clause, if you really want to get into this.

UPDATE: New Hampshire has announced that they will appeal. So, stay tuned. . . .

Jeff [11:25 AM]

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