No joy for Rx data miners this week

Cross-posted from

In a second blow to big Pharma and data miners, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to grant an injunction blocking Vermont’s Prescription Data Mining Law from taking effect tomorrow, July 1. The decision, announced the same day that the Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to New Hampshire’s prescription data mining law (IMS Health, Inc. v. Ayotte), deals another blow to companies that would otherwise collect and sell physician prescribing information to pharmaceutical detailers.

Such state laws have been anathema to pharmaceutical interests, especially data-mining companies. IMS Health and Verispan, who were among the plaintiffs, had also challenged New Hampshire’s law on similar grounds — that the laws violated the commercial free speech rights of their companies.

The Second Circuit rejected the data miners’ arguments and refused to grant an injunction because the companies could not demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their case. Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell welcomed the ruling, saying:

“The district court found that the law protects public health and will help curb the rising costs of health care in Vermont. After nearly two years of litigation, Vermonters can now start reaping the benefits of this important law.”

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