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SCOTUS allows data mining of drug prescription records because it's ``free speech``

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posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 11:06 AM
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Are you kidding me? FREE SPEECH is data mining drug prescription records? In what dictionary? It must be a new version or something.

Supreme Court: Data Mining Of Prescription Drug Records Is Free Speech

In 2007, the state of Vermont passed a law forbidding the data mining of prescription drug records (i.e., which drugs are being prescribed and how frequently) for marketing purposes. But earlier today, the Supreme Court ruled that the Vermont law interferes with drug makers' right to free speech.

The law had been intended to protect the privacy of doctors and patients, but six of the Supremes said Big Pharma's right to hone its marketing pitches is more important.


The majority wrote :

Speech in aid of pharmaceutical marketing... is a form of expression protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment... As a consequence, Vermont's statute must be subjected to heightened judicial scrutiny. The law cannot satisfy that standard.

What the freaking hell... Most corrupt SCOTUS EVER.
edit on 24-6-2011 by Vitchilo because: (no reason given)

edit on 24-6-2011 by Vitchilo because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by Vitchilo
 


Horrible and bizarre isn't it? It open the flood gates for industries to claim "free speech rights" to all sorts of buying behavior. Just another example that this Court has its bias deep up the ass of Big Business.

Any inllectually honest historian will tell you "free speech" rights are rooted in free POLITICAL speech, so as not allowing the government to imprison political dissenters. Like most rulings by this Court in its current configuration, rulings are twisting the Constitution into an instrument designed to benefit and advance commercial interests first, humans last or least.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 11:21 AM
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All of our "Freedoms" are under assault.

Both party's have sold us out under the guise of security.

I think I would rather take my chances with the criminals.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by whyamIhere
All of our "Freedoms" are under assault.

Both party's have sold us out under the guise of security.

I think I would rather take my chances with the criminals.


no...it's NOT both parties, but it doesn't matter now, since the SCOTUS is firmly controlled by the corporate right-wingers. loss of our rights and privacy will keep coming from this supreme court. "W" finished us off with his appointments.
edit on 24-6-2011 by jimmyx because: spelling



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 11:35 AM
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reply to post by jimmyx
 


I don't want to derail this OP's thread.

But, to blame one party for our loss of liberty?

Seems like a partisan opinion.

Also, I think it's intellectually dishonest.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 11:37 AM
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Glad I steer way clear of pharma, I have absolutely no use for them.
They will not get info on me in this fashion.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by whyamIhere
 


The defining line for criminals is becoming harder and harder to see especially when our Supreme court (Defenders of the Constitution) are in big Pharma's back pocket... and the worst part is that it's not only judges in the Supreme court that are susceptible to this...



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 12:01 PM
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I'd be interested to see who's bank account is alot bigger right now.
I'm sure that someone on the high court has a big payday



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 12:44 PM
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I couldn;t agree more that the SCOTUS is the most agenda-driven, ideological bunch of sorry excuses for judges I've ever seen. They have consistently ruled against freedom and the rights of people in favor of big government and business.

Of course this does not set them apart from any other branch of our Federal government.
Just more confirmation of the status quo.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 12:58 PM
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The names of the traitor judges:
Antonin Scalia,(appointed by Reagan)
Anthony Kennedy,(appointed by Reagan)
Clarence Thomas,(appointed by Bush Jr.)
John G. Roberts, (appointed by Bush Jr.)
Samuel Alito, (appointed by Bush Sr.)
Sonia Sotamayor, (appointed by Obama)

The dissenters were:
Stephen Breyer,(appointed by Clinton)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (appointed by Clinton)
Elena Kagan, (appointed by Obama)

Do we need more proof that both parties work for the same master?


edit on 24-6-2011 by Scoriada because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by Vitchilo
 


Let’s examine the actual ruling rather than rely upon a third party to form your opinion for you. Please note I am not discrediting the sourced piece that the OP has presented, but rather giving the source of such a piece so that we all can make our own conclusions in regards to this issue.

SORRELL, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF VERMONT, et al. v. IMS HEALTH INC. et al. The ruling, in which was not the Supreme Courts, rather the Second Court of Appeals ruling was held and is as follows:

Vermont’s statute, which imposes content- and speaker-basedburdens on protected expression, is subject to heightened judicialscrutiny.

In brief, Vermont's law which can be found here; 18 V.S.A § 4631. Confidentiality of prescription information and more specifically the questioned statute is clause (d), which reads:


A health insurer, a self-insured employer, an electronic transmission intermediary, a pharmacy, or other similar entity shall not sell, license, or exchange for value regulated records containing prescriber-identifiable information, nor permit the use of regulated records containing prescriber-identifiable information for marketing or promoting a prescription drug, unless the prescriber consents as provided in subsection (c) of this section. Pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmaceutical marketers shall not use prescriber-identifiable information for marketing or promoting a prescription drug unless the prescriber consents as provided in subsection (c) of this section.


In their Opinion, the Supreme Court holds that the "[T]he statute thus disfavors marketing, i.e., speech with a particular con-tent, as well as particular speakers, i.e., detailers engaged in marketing on behalf of pharmaceutical manufacturers." During their legislative findings in regards to § 4631(d), they found that even though it restricts certain groups from obtaining the information, it allows other groups to acquire the information.

In doing so, the law is dictating what speech is acceptable and what speech is not. This is why they ruled for heightened judicial scrutiny. The opinion has a very good point and it states "Fear that speech might persuade provides no lawful basis for quieting it." Would you not agree?


Vermont seeks to achieve those objectives through the indirect means of restraining certain speech bycertain speakers—i.e., by diminishing detailers’ ability to influence prescription decisions. But “the fear that people would make bad decisions if given truthful information” cannot justify content-basedburdens on speech.


Indeed, it seems all here that didn't bother to read the actual ruling but relied upon the sourced article's opinion on the matter is following exact quoted. That fear of given truthful information would lead people to make bad decisions. Furthermore, the Court brought to light the fact that Vermont wasn't solely interested in the consumer because of this clause, but rather was trying to shape the public debate about it.


Vermont may be displeased that detailers with prescriber-indentifying information are effective in promoting brand-name drugs, but the State may not burden protected expression in order to tilt public debate in a preferred direction.


Since Vermont made no contention that its law would prevent false information (and how could it), it falls on a difference of opinion in the matter. Such a law, even though in the scope that we see here presented shows that we cannot limit speech just because we don't like it or like the means in which it is used.

Mainly, such a restriction upon this type of speech, in which marketing is just that, cannot be applied selectively because a group of people or even a state does not like the content of such speech. Why is it a food market of any sort can collect data based upon its clientele, sell that data they have aquired and then marketers, using that information try to persuade those very food markets to carry different brands based upon clientele likes and dislikes okay?

Granted, I understand the personal nature in regards to the medication some folks may be taking, but if that were the case, why is there no burden of personal responsibility for a patient to expressly tell their doctor that they do not wish their medications be known outside of the office. Why is there no responsibility placed upon the doctors, who are pounded daily to prescribe certain medications held accountable in this? But because such a law was only aimed at one group and to limit that group's ability to speak freely and with knowledge it fails to meet why such a law should be allowed.

I see no bad ruling here and that is my opinion. The Court merely asserted that a company's ability to market their products is free speech, but because the majority here, along with Vermont take exception to pharmaceutical companies, you would allow your principles of free speech go out the window to allow targeted free speech restriction.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 07:22 PM
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But the average sheeple type can't record on their front lawn a cop beating the snot out of them! WTF! I'm ashamed to be an American! This country officially sucks!



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 09:50 PM
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reply to post by ownbestenemy
 


ownbestenemy, thank you for the detail. Well presented.

The problem I have with the ruling is that our grocery store purchases are not controlled by privacy laws. Our medical information, prescriptions in this case, is protected under HIPPA. I don't understand how big pharma got around HIPPA claiming "free speech." I see free speech and HIPPA as two unrelated laws. Pharmaceutical companies obviously don't need our personal medical information to sell a product. They've been doing just fine without it.



posted on Jun, 24 2011 @ 10:09 PM
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Originally posted by DreamingsFree
reply to post by ownbestenemy
 


ownbestenemy, thank you for the detail. Well presented.

The problem I have with the ruling is that our grocery store purchases are not controlled by privacy laws. Our medical information, prescriptions in this case, is protected under HIPPA. I don't understand how big pharma got around HIPPA claiming "free speech." I see free speech and HIPPA as two unrelated laws. Pharmaceutical companies obviously don't need our personal medical information to sell a product. They've been doing just fine without it.


Interesting point you make, DreamingsFree, but it appears that HIPAA wouldn't be violated here because it's not the patient's private health info (PHI) being disclosed but the prescriber's information as defined under subsection (c)(1):


(c)(1) The department of health and the office of professional regulation, in consultation with the appropriate licensing boards, shall establish a prescriber data-sharing program to allow a prescriber to give consent for his or her identifying information to be used for the purposes described under subsection (d) of this section. The department and office shall solicit the prescriber's consent on licensing applications or renewal forms and shall provide a prescriber a method for revoking his or her consent. The department and office may establish rules for this program.


Timidgal



posted on Jun, 25 2011 @ 05:06 PM
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Originally posted by DreamingsFree
reply to post by ownbestenemy
 


ownbestenemy, thank you for the detail. Well presented.


You are welcome. Again, nothing against the opinion of the OP or the sourced article, I just would rather know where the source is at and read it for myself. Granted my post does have my personal subjectivity built in, no matter how objective I try to be; I just would like a real discussion rather than knee-jerk reactions because people are buying into an opinion piece.


The problem I have with the ruling is that our grocery store purchases are not controlled by privacy laws.

Now I know I used an extreme example, on the opposite side of the spectrum but for the most part, you are anonymous when we do shop at a grocery store. Only when we use credit cards and/or get those ridiculous "club" cards are they able to tie together your purchases with your name. Given so, you are correct. Such purchases are not protected under law such as our health records are under HIPAA.

As the poster that responded to you (I will edit to put your name in!) pointed out, Section (c) of 18 V.S.A § 4631 relates directly to section (d). In Section (d), it states "...unless the prescriber consents as provided in subsection (c) of this section" If you notice it is speaking to the prescriber, not the person that is receiving the prescription. As defined by the law in Section (b)(7) it states: ""Prescriber" means an individual allowed by law to prescribe and administer prescription drugs in the course of professional practice."

Where the Supreme Court of the United States ruled was that the law, as written is discriminatory at least and needs more judicial scrutiny and concurred with the appellate court. Because of the exceptions laid forth to section (d), it is obvious that there was no intent on keeping costs down, but punish the pharmaceutics industry based on a difference of opinion and the scope in which they operate in with their marketing.

As long as the prescriber-identifiable information doesn't include individual patient information, HIPAA laws are not violated. I don't see the harm though in a doctor participating in marketing data gathering programs. Its information. Information that leads to drug-makers connecting with doctors and finding out how their drugs they make operate in the real world outside of studies.






I see free speech and HIPPA as two unrelated laws.


My only contention...free speech should not and as is not a law. But I understand what you are saying. HIPAA is a restriction to doctors, insurers, etc. to respect our privacy. As I noted above, unless that data from "prescriber-identifiable" contains personal patient information, this issue is completely separate from HIPAA.

It is most likely why that argument never arose from the Attorney General during the oral arguments.




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