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28 Apr 2011

Supreme Court to Rule on Drugmaker Data Mining

The US state of Vermont claims that the 'data-mining' practice violates patient-doctor confidentiality and that it is increasing the cost of prescription drugs.

The US Supreme Court will decide on whether to bar doctors from being pitched drugs depending on their prescription habits from name-brand pharmaceutical companies. The Supreme Court began hearing cases on 26 April, with a decision expected by late June this year.


The landmark case puts the US state of Vermont against companies that have sold prescription information to drug makers, a practice known as 'data-mining', without prior consent of the doctors.


Although the state has a law to prohibit data-mining, companies that sell the information claim they put valuable drug information into the hands of physicians and a ruling against them would be against their freedom of speech.

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