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Physicians, legislators oppose pharmaceutical data mining

Physician Practice Advisor, May 30, 2007

More than a dozen states have considered legislation to curtail drugmakers' common practice of contracting with data-mining companies to track exactly which medicines physicians prescribe and in what quantities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New Hampshire enacted such a law last year, but a federal district judge recently ruled it unconstitutional. Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Nevada, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, and Washington are considering similar pieces of legislation.

The pharmaceutical industry defends the practice as a way of better educating physicians about new drugs, according to the Washington Post. However, many physicians object to the practice, citing an invasion of privacy and the possibility that the data will be used to influence physicians to prescribe more expensive medicines rather than provide the best treatment options.

Click here to read the article in the Washington Post.