Blog | Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Data-mining goes down in court

The pharma industry took a hit on Tuesday, when a federal appeals court upheld a New Hampshire law that bans data-mining, the practice in which physicians' prescribing records are sold to pharma reps. The opinion came down pretty hard on detailing tactics (calling them mind-boggling), and the ruling may inspire other states, especially those in the same New England judicial district, to follow suit, according the NY Times.

It's good news for docs who don't like pharma reps knowing more about their prescribing habits than they do, but bad news for the pharma and data-mining companies. The decision's also a potential blow to the AMA (which made 16% of its 2005 income selling the info).

First, the ban on free food and pens, now this, what next? Soon pharma's only option will be to buy ads on snarky medical blogs.