In response to Joseph Conn's "Data-miners unite in Maine to block 'opt-out' Rx law":
The law of unintended consequences should be the governing statute in adjudicating the quixotic struggles of the left to suppress prescription profile data.
In fact, prescription profiles reduce the cost of pharmaceutical marketing by allowing medical marketers to deliver the right message to the right recipient at the right time. Should such data become unavailable, marketing costs will increase and inevitably be passed on to the patients and taxpayers of America.
Laws restricting access to prescriber profiles are a waste of taxpayer dollars. The American Medical Association already has in place an opt-out program that it has been actively promoting to doctors nationwide for some time. Very few physicians have taken advantage of the program, perhaps because physicians without a political ax to grind understand that such data helps them receive information they need about life-saving pharmaceutical products.
Opponents of such data also misrepresent the truth in their efforts to restrict commercial free speech. They allege that personally identifiable information about patients is usedthat is, to be blunt, a lie. Prescriber data used to market to physicians is explicitly stripped of all personally identifiable patient data for the very purpose of absolutely safeguarding patient privacy.
Deceptive tactics used by enemies of the pharmaceutical industry completely undercut their credibility, which is no doubt one of the reasons why they continue to lose their cases in courts of law. Their hidden agenda becomes clear: to make medical marketing illegal, thus enabling leftist politicians to buy votes with cheap old drugs rather than new improved remedies that can dramatically improve quality of life and longevity. To paraphrase Marie Antoinette, their attitude is "Let them eat generics."
Terry NugentVice president of marketingMedical Marketing ServiceWood Dale, Ill. To submit a letter to YOUR VIEWS, click here. Please include your name, title and hometown.