IMS Health, Wolters Kluwer Health and Verispan Comment on Federal Judge's Decision to Grant Preliminary Injunction Blocking Enforcement of Maine Prescription Restraint Law
"We are pleased with Judge Woodcock's thoughtful 42-page decision. We believe that restrictions on the dissemination of information of crucial public interest are neither good healthcare policy nor consistent with our society's core beliefs in the free flow of information," said Robert H. Steinfeld, IMS senior vice president and general counsel.
The law, which bans the use of physician prescribing information for marketing, was enacted in June and was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2008. The preliminary injunction blocks enforcement of the law. The judge's Dec. 21 decision will maintain the status quo until a final ruling is reached in the lawsuit filed by the three health information companies earlier this year.
This is the second federal injunction against such a law. New Hampshire's prescription restraint law was ruled unconstitutional and struck down in a 53-page federal court ruling on April 30, 2007. The three companies also have a suit challenging a similar law in Vermont and expect a ruling in 2008.
Provider-identifiable prescription information is used by a wide variety of healthcare stakeholders, including the FDA, the DEA, academic researchers, health economists, biopharmaceutical companies and others to monitor public health patterns, identify variations in patient care, maintain drug safety and drive clinical trial best practices. Provider-identifiable prescription information is patient de-identified and patient privacy is federally protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. In addition, IMS, Wolters Kluwer Health and Verispan add further safeguards, including encryption, to ensure that patient privacy is vigilantly safeguarded.
"While we appreciate the demands on Maine legislators to manage healthcare costs for its citizens, this type of legislation is counterproductive and inconsistent with the national trend toward more transparency in healthcare practices. It's vital that provider-level prescription information remain accessible, as it has proven value in efforts to monitor safety and manage quality, treatment variability and healthcare costs," said Randy Frankel, IMS vice president for External Affairs.
Operating in more than 100 countries, IMS Health is the world's leading provider of market intelligence to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. With $2.0 billion in 2006 revenue and more than 50 years of industry experience, IMS offers leading-edge market intelligence products and services that are integral to clients' day-to-day operations, including portfolio optimization capabilities; launch and brand management solutions; sales force effectiveness innovations; managed care and consumer health offerings; and consulting and services solutions that improve ROI and the delivery of quality healthcare worldwide. Additional information is available at http://www.imshealth.com.
About Wolters Kluwer Health
Wolters Kluwer Health (Conshohocken, PA), a division of Wolters Kluwer, is a leading provider of information for professionals and students in medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry. Major brands include traditional publishers of medical and drug reference tools and textbooks, such as Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and Facts & Comparisons; electronic information providers, such as Ovid Technologies, Medi-Span and ProVation; and pharmaceutical information providers Adis International and Source(R). For more information, visit www.wkhealth.com.
Wolters Kluwer is a leading global information services and publishing company. The company provides products and services for professionals in the health, tax, accounting, corporate, financial services, legal and regulatory sectors. Wolters Kluwer has 2006 annual revenues of EUR 3.7 billion, employs approximately 19,900 people worldwide and maintains operations across Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Its shares are quoted on the Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. For more information, visit WoltersKluwer.com.
Verispan, a healthcare informatics joint venture of Quintiles Transnational Corp. and McKesson Corp., provides a broad array of information products and services to the healthcare industry, including sales targeting and compensation products; market research audits; healthcare profiles; comprehensive managed care offerings; primary market research; data integration, warehousing and mining; data analysis and consulting; direct mail; list services; disease management studies; clinical trial investigator targeting and protocol recruitment evaluation; healthcare outcomes; and cost/benefit analyses, among many others. Verispan is also the nation's leading provider of patient-centric longitudinal data, with dozens of products used by clients spanning the industry.
Headquartered in Yardley, Pa., Verispan employs over 500 dedicated healthcare information professionals. The company's Web site is www.verispan.com.
Gary Gatyas, 610-834-5338
Wolters Kluwer Health Communications
Robert Dekker, 610-234-4533
Tracy Everly, 267-685-4387
Posted: December 2007