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Sorrell v. IMS Health

Close Date: 06/23/2011
Topic(s): First Amendment
Date Of Involvement: 03/11/2011
Docket: 10-779

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Description:

Vermont law prohibits pharmacies from selling records of filled prescriptions unless they first remove the names of prescribing doctors. The court of appeals held the law unconstitutional, concluding that it infringed the First Amendment rights of drug companies to purchase prescription records and to use those records to target their marketing at individual doctors—a practice known as “detailing.” Public Citizen filed an amicus brief on behalf of Vermont, arguing that the law regulated only commercial activity and that such activity is not protected by the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the respondent on June 23, 2011.