In a split decision, a federal appeals court in New York has overturned a Vermont law seeking to restrict the use of prescription drug data in the marketing of pharmaceuticals to physicians.
The ruling by a majority of the three-judge panel in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came in favor of the appellants—IMS Health; Verispan; Source Healthcare Analytics, a subsidiary of Wolters Kluwer Health; and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America—and found that the 2007 Vermont law constituted "an impermissible restriction of commercial speech."
The decision sets up a likely showdown before the U.S. Supreme Court, as the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston found in favor of similar state laws in Maine and New Hampshire.