Corporate speech invades your medicine cabinet | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Corporate speech invades your medicine cabinet

Posted By on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 7:06 AM

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Interesting report here from the Ozy website on an unexpected way in which U.S. Supreme Court protections for corporate speech have impact outside the political realm, specifically in drug sales.

With restrictions on corporate speech falling away, the Food and Drug Administration is now revising regulations that have long banned “off-label promotion,” or marketing medicine for uses the FDA has not approved. New regulations are due out this fall. There’s a good chance they’ll give drug companies much more latitude in marketing drugs to doctors.

Get ready for a whole lot of drug deals.

Opponents of the off-label promotion ban say it violates First Amendment speech rights and makes little practical sense in the information age besides. Supporters argue it protects patients and allows doctors to make medical judgments uncorrupted by Big Pharma’s big bucks.

All of this might sound esoteric, but the new regulations will affect some of your most intimate interactions — the ones in the examining room. They also could save drug makers billions in penalties and litigation.

The reporting has a local angle. Author Rhett Martin is an Atkins native, UCA alum, 2002 Rhodes Scholar and Harvard Law grad who's now practicing law in Madison, Wisc.

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