By Alicia Gallegos, amednews staff
Physicians’ prescribing data can continue to be sold for marketing purposes, the Supreme Court rules. Manufacturers of generic drugs are not responsible for brand-name labeling errors.
Brand-name and generic drug manufacturers have prevailed in two U.S. Supreme Court cases that could have wide-reaching effects on physicians who prescribe drugs and the patients who take them.
In William Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc., the Supreme Court ruled June 23 that data firms can sell information on a physician’s prescribing history, and drug companies can use the information without a doctor’s consent unless he or she explicitly opts out of the process. The transmission of the information is protected by free speech laws, the court said.
In Pliva Inc. v. Mensing, the high court ruled the same day that generic drugmakers are not liable for labeling errors made by brand-name companies that manufactured the original version of the medications. Federal law requires that generic labels match only those of brand-name labels and need not include additional warnings or updates, according to the decision.