New Hampshire limits prescribing data use

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 7, 2006

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New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch signed into law the nation's first ban on drugmakers' use of prescribing data for marketing or detailing purposes. The law, which went into effect immediately after Lynch signed it June 30, does not ban drugmakers from collecting aggregate information by specialty or ZIP code and also exempts academic and government uses of prescribers' data.

The bill passed with support from the New Hampshire Medical Society, which argued that the measure would protect physicians from being unduly influenced by pharmaceutical company sales representatives who often arrive in doctors' offices armed with detailed prescriber data.

Drugmakers, pharmacy chains and the AMA opposed the bill.

Similar bills were introduced in Arizona, Hawaii and West Virginia, but none passed, and each legislature is now out of session.

A Maine bill originally would have protected prescribers' data but was amended to cover only patient privacy.

In May, the AMA announced a plan to allow physicians to opt out of having their prescription data made available to sales reps or their supervisors. To enroll in the AMA's Prescribing Data Restriction Program, physicians should visit the Prescribing Data Information Center's Web site (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at

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