Vermont and Big Pharma Face off in U.S. Supreme Court

In The Atlantic Monthly, Andrew Cohen analyzes the issues at stake as Big Pharma goes to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge states’ rights to ban pharmaceutical companies from using “prescriber-identifiable data” to market or promote those drugs to doctors. According to Adweek, the Supreme Court hearings on April 26, 2011, were “a good day for healthcare industry researcher IMS Health, big pharma, and advertising. The day was tougher for the State of Vermont which defended a statute preventing prescription drug data from being used to market to doctors without their permission.” The court decision, expected in the next month or so, will further clarify the constitutional protection the Supremes offer to corporate commercial speech.