Pharmalot, By Ed Silverman // November 23rd, 2010
A federal appeals court has ruled that a Vermont law restricting data mining - specifically, the sale of prescription drug info that identifies prescribers and patients for commercial marketing purposes - is unconstitutional. The law was challenged by three healthcare research firms - IMS Health, SDI, Wolters Kluwer health - and the PhRMA trade group, which argued the legislation would hurt public access to healthcare info and violated commercial speech.
... In explaining its ruling, however, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit wrote that the Vermont law created an "impermissible restriction on commercial speech ... Vermont has not asserted a substantial state interest in curbing the use of prescriber-identifiable data in marketing campaigns"
(you can read the ruling here (PDF, 87 pages).