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UPDATE: US High Court Strikes Down Limits On Data Mining Of Drug Records
Wall St Journal ^ | JUNE 23, 2011, | Brent Kendall

Posted on 06/23/2011 11:46:52 AM PDT by Pharmboy

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a Vermont law that barred the sale of doctors' prescription data to drug companies, ruling the law interfered with the pharmaceutical industry's First Amendment right to market its products.

Data companies such as IMS Health Inc. gather information from pharmacies on which medicines doctors are prescribing and how often. Drug makers buy the data, using it to refine their marketing pitches and measure which salespeople are the most effective.

A 2007 Vermont law effectively banned the practice in the state. It said data-mining companies can't sell the prescription information for marketing purposes, and drug makers can't use it, unless the prescribing doctor consents. ...

The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, said the law was an unconstitutional restriction on drug makers' free speech rights.

"Speech in aid of pharmaceutical marketing...is a form of expression protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment," Kennedy said ...

Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan dissented,

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: datamining; freespeech; pharmaindustry; privacy; vt
Interesting...esp. at 6-3. The data collected is anonymous as far as patients are concerned, just FYI.
1 posted on 06/23/2011 11:47:00 AM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy

So the wise Latina voted with the conservatives???? Interesting.............


2 posted on 06/23/2011 11:49:39 AM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: Pharmboy

So the wise Latina voted with the conservatives???? Interesting.............


3 posted on 06/23/2011 11:49:39 AM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: Dilbert San Diego
Well, if she turns out to be another Kennedy, then our side won (relative to what we thought we got with her...)
4 posted on 06/23/2011 11:52:44 AM PDT by Pharmboy (What always made the state a hell has been that man tried to make it heaven-Hoelderlin)
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To: Pharmboy
...if she turns out to be another Kennedy...

Commence holding your breath in 3..2..1..

5 posted on 06/23/2011 12:02:53 PM PDT by Tonytitan
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To: Tonytitan

Well, I believe this is the second time she separated herself from the liberal troika...


6 posted on 06/23/2011 12:09:17 PM PDT by Pharmboy (What always made the state a hell has been that man tried to make it heaven-Hoelderlin)
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I know CVS mines pharmacy records.

I used to buy insulin for my diabetic dog only from CVS a few years ago.

I have not purchased any prescription from CVS in a few years as we use another company.

Now, CVS out of the blue is sending me diabetes care supply coupons.


7 posted on 06/23/2011 12:14:59 PM PDT by WaterBoard
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To: WaterBoard

They had 5 votes. Hers was irrelevant. Why not vote with the majority?


8 posted on 06/23/2011 12:57:55 PM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Sarah Palin, the only candidate to be vetted by the NY Times, the Washington Post and NBC.)
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To: Pharmboy

I’m not so sure. Because of the Hippa Act, health care records privacy is a thing of the past. And while data might not in and of itself expose private information, the very purpose of data mining is to glean information not directly exposed.

“An individual who believes that the Privacy Rule is not being upheld can file a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR). However, according to the Wall Street Journal, the OCR has a long backlog and ignores most complaints.”

So what can drug companies do with a physician’s prescriptions patterns? Mostly two things: bribery or coercion of physicians.

That is, if he mostly prescribes a competitor’s products, they can bribe him to use their products instead. They’ve been bribing since the 1960s, so they are very good at it. And their “right of free speech to bribe”, apparently means they have a right to challenge a doctor’s ethics. And now they can see if he is responding to their bribes, or has “double crossed” them by taking their bribe but not referring their products.

How lovely.

Worse is the coercion. Drug companies pay for all kinds of independent evaluation of their products. So if a doctor doesn’t use their products, why would they want to hire him to do evaluations for them? “Prescribe our products, or we will give thousands of dollars to some doctor who does.”


9 posted on 06/23/2011 1:27:05 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: WaterBoard
Now, CVS out of the blue is sending me diabetes care supply coupons.

This is a good thing. The information you've given to CVS — whether directly or by inference — tells them there's an elevated possibility that the offered product is relevant to you.

Imagine all of the wasted trees, and the exponentiation of "throw-away" snail mail if CVS had to "shotgun" those same coupons to everyone in town in order to ensure they'd got them into the hands of all possibly interested parties?

The eventual goal of data mining is to be able to send you ads and coupons for things you always use, or have an ongoing, active interest in. Imagine never getting an ad that wasn't relevant to your needs or interests.

The reason you still receive coupons and ads for things in which you've no interest is because data mining is not yet done extensively enough. The amount of "junk mail" you receive is still too high because there's still quite a bit of old-school "shotgun" advertising going on, and data mining isn't yet thorough enough that advertisers can always be certain that you do indeed have an interest in a given product.

Look at it from the other side, and think about why the coupons CVS sent to you aren't of use to you. What piece or pieces of relevant information would CVS need in order for them to know NOT to send that offer to you, or to send you a different offer that you would take advantage of, instead?

Granted, the idea of data mining is unsettling because it makes us feel vulnerable, but the plain fact is that we MUST make ourselves vulnerable to some degree in order to do business with anyone, ever. We do it all the time.

How could the local shoe store help you get shoes that fit if you refused to give them your shoe size?

You say, "Oh, I can use the thingy to measure my own feet."

Well and good, but how would your mechanic be able help you if you refused to give any specifics about how your transmission is acting up??

Have you got the time, tools and talent to deal with that yourself, too? And what of your neighbor who doesn't?

The bottom line is this: unless you can do every last little thing yourself, you've GOT to make yourself vulnerable to other people in the degree required for them to have the specific information about you that they need in order to help you.

So, when companies can use database technology to organize the information they already have — information that was given to them voluntarily — in order to make specific offers to specific individuals with a high degree of certainty that those offers are relevant to those individuals, we're all better served. We all get more offers for things we actually DO want, and fewer offers for things we don't.

10 posted on 06/23/2011 1:51:29 PM PDT by HKMk23 (YHVH NEVER PLAYS DEFENSE!)
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To: HKMk23

I never gave CVS permission to retain confidential medical information to use in advertising. How else is this database being used and shared with third parties?

It is a violation of trust and I will never use CVS again. So, this damaged their business relationship.


11 posted on 06/23/2011 5:45:39 PM PDT by WaterBoard
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