Big Brother — er, I mean Big Pharma — is keeping tabs on what your doctor is prescribing through purchased database information. And now, the feds have batted down the state of New Hampshire’s attempt to keep this prescribing info private. Reports the New York Times:
The ruling was a victory for IMS Health, the leading purveyor of pharmaceutical prescribing data, as well as a competitor, Verispan. Both companies sued last year to have the New Hampshire law stricken, arguing that prohibitions on the sale of the information violated their constitutional rights. The decision could have implications in other states considering similar legislation. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, several states were considering such proposals this year. The legislation had been urged by doctors who objected to the sharing of their prescribing patterns…
Representative Cindy Rosenwald, the New Hampshire legislator who sponsored the law, expressed disappointment yesterday in the ruling, which issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of the law.
“I feel that corporate interests took precedent over the needs of people in New Hampshire,” she said. “I think it’s like having a drug rep peering over a doctor’s shoulder when he is writing a prescription.” But she added that the issue had gained momentum. “I don’t think this issue is going to go away.”
Good news for the drug companies; bad news for doctors — and for the public.