Appeals court backs N.H. law on prescription data

A federal appeals court has upheld a New Hampshire law that aims to block the use of data on physicians’ and other clinicians’ prescribing patterns for drug-marketing purposes.
The decision by the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, which overturns a trial court ruling, also will establish a legal precedent in a lawsuit by data miners and the pharmaceutical industry they work for in Maine. There a similar law was overturned by a federal court.
It will not have as strong an influence on a third such law in Vermont, which also is tied up in federal court there, because it is in a different federal circuit, according to Democratic Maine State Rep. Sharon Treat, who serves as executive director of the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices, a nonpartisan organization of state legislators looking to lower prescription drug prices.

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