Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Free Speech Victory Against the FDA

The 12/3/2012 New York Times reports, "Ruling Is Victory for Drug Companies in Promoting Medicine for Other Uses".
Under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which gives the F.D.A. the authority to regulate drugs, selling a “misbranded drug,” or one that is intended to be used for purposes not listed in the label, is illegal. Doctors, on the other hand, are free to prescribe a drug for any use. The agency has argued that off-label promotion of drugs is evidence that a sales representative or company intended to sell misbranded drugs. 

In its decision, the court said this view violated the First Amendment and cited as precedent a 2011 Supreme Court decision, Sorrell vs. IMS Health. In that case, the high court, citing freedom of speech, overturned a Vermont law restricting pharmaceutical companies from using prescription data for marketing purposes. 

“The government clearly prosecuted Caronia for his words — for his speech,” the majority wrote, concluding later “the government cannot prosecute pharmaceutical manufacturers and their representatives under the F.D.C.A. for speech promoting the lawful, off-label use of an F.D.A.-approved drug.” 
Let's hope this good ruling is upheld! (Via Virginia Postrel.)