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SORRELL v. IMS HEALTH INC.

Docket No.: 10-779
Certiorari Granted: 01/07/11
Argued: April 26, 2011
Decided: 06/23/11

Topics:

Article I, Commerce Clause, Consumer Protection, Due Process, FOIA, Fair Credit Reporting Act, First Amendment, Freedom of Press, Sherman Act, abuse of discretion, antitrust, consumer credit reports, credit reports, judicial review, patent, privacy

PartyNames: William H. Sorrell, Attorney General of Vermont, et al. v. IMS Health Inc., et al.
Petitioner: William H. Sorrell, Attorney General of Vermont, et al.
Respondent: IMS Health Inc., et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Citation: 2010 WL 4723183

William H. Sorrell, Attorney General of Vermont, et al.
v.
IMS Health Inc., et al.
Background:

Prescription drug records, which contain information about patients, doctors, and medical treatment, exist because of federal and state regulation in this highly regulated field. This case is about information from prescription records known as "prescriber-identifiable data." Such data identifies the doctor or other prescriber, links the doctor to a particular prescription, and reveals other details about that prescription. Pharmacies sell this information to data mining companies, and the data miners aggregate and package the data for use as a marketing tool by pharmaceutical manufacturers. The law at issue in this case, Vermont's Prescription Confidentiality Law, affords prescribers the right to consent before information linking them to prescriptions for particular drugs can be sold or used for marketing. The Second Circuit held that Vermont's law violates the First Amendment, a holding that conflicts with two recent decisions of the First Circuit upholding similar laws.

Question Presented:

Whether a law that restricts access to information in nonpublic prescription drug records and affords prescribers the right to consent before their identifying information in prescription drug records is sold or used in marketing runs afoul of the First Amendment.

Question:

Does a Vermont state statute banning the sale, transmission or use of prescriber-identifiable data, absent prescriber consent, unconstitutionally restrict the free speech rights of pharmaceutical research companies, manufacturers and others to use that data?

SORRELL v. IMS HEALTH INC.
ORAL ARGUMENT

04/26/11

Listen to Oral Argument in SORRELL v. IMS HEALTH INC.
Holding: affirmed
Vote: 6-3
Opinion By:
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