The Supreme Court struck down a law that prohibits the use of prescription drug records for marketing, ruling for free-speech rights over a state government's medical privacy concerns.
The high court handed a victory to data-mining companies IMS Health, Verispan and Source Healthcare Analytics, a unit of Dutch publisher Wolters Kluwer, which had challenged the law. The companies collect and sell such information.
By a 6-3 vote, the justices on Thursday upheld a ruling by a U.S. appeals court that Vermont's law infringed on commercial free-speech rights in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The law, adopted in 2007, prohibited the sale, transmission or use of prescriber-identifiable information for marketing a prescription drug unless the prescribing doctor had consented.