Doctors, Legislators Resist Drugmakers’ Prying Eyes
In the letter, the salesperson wrote that Thakkar was causing his patients to miss more days of school than they would if he put them on Vigamox, a more expensive brand-name medicine made by Alcon Laboratories.
Talk about gall! Telling a physician what he should be subscribing to his patients!
Now the issue is bubbling up in the political arena. Last year, New Hampshire became the first state to try to curtail the practice, but a federal district judge three weeks ago ruled the law unconstitutional.
“In this case commercial interests took precedence over the interests of the private citizens of New Hampshire,” Rosenwald said. “This is like letting a drug rep into an exam room and having them eavesdrop on a private conversation between a physician and a patient.”
The April 30 ruling by U.S. District Judge Paul Barbadoro, nominated to the federal bench in 1992 by President George H. W. Bush, called the state’s pioneering law an unconstitutional restriction on commercial speech.
How typical of a REPUGNican judge! To place the interests of Big Pharma over the interests of the patients! This is an unequal contest — Big Pharma has more resources to lobby physicians than states do.
A drug company might use the database to help determine whether physicians prescribing a particular high-risk drug have undergone required training about the medicine, said Marjorie E. Powell, senior assistant general counsel for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a trade association.
“If you don’t have that information, then you are in a very difficult situation,” Powell said. “There is no way you can implement the risk-management plan that the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] is requiring you to implement in order to allow the drug to be on the market.”
To me, this sounds like a threat; but judge for yourself — here’s the link to the article.
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