High Court May Lift Vt. Limits on Drug Firms' Pitches

Wednesday, 27 Apr 2011 02:38 PM

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The Supreme Court looks poised to strike down a Vermont law that limits how pharmaceutical companies pitch their products to doctors, The New York Times reports. Even liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said during arguments on Tuesday that the law smacks of censorship and favoritism.

“You can’t lower the decibel level of one speaker so that another speaker, in this case the generics, can be heard better," she said.

The Vermont law, designed to control state Medicare costs by promoting cheaper generic drugs over brand names, forbids pharmaceutical companies from using computer data-mining to track which drugs individual doctors prescribe.

Ginsburg’s argument might suggest a growing acceptance of the corporate free-speech rights concept enshrined in another case, Citizens United. That 2010 ruling, which Ginsburg opposed, eased corporate restrictions on political spending.




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