In January, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in the case of IMS Health v. Sorrell, an appeal of a ruling in November in favor of data aggregator IMS Health by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. The case involves a 2007 Vermont statute, similar to laws in many other states, that prohibits the use, sale and transfer of prescriber-identifiable data (referred to as “PI Data”) for marketing purposes, unless a prescriber (meaning: a physician) opts in to allow use of his or her PI Data. The State of Vermont and its supporters argue that any 1st Amendment challenges to the law by users of the PI Data are sufficiently overcome by substantial privacy interests of doctors and their patients.
To discuss these issues, my guest today is John Verdi, Senior Counsel of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). John and EPIC have filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court in support of Vermont’s position, and I’ve asked John to join me today to briefly discuss the privacy issues involved.
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