Latebreakers: Data collection laws challenged

September 17, 2007

New state laws in Maine and Vermont that would allow doctors to limit access to their prescription records have been challenged in court by data collection companies IMS Health, Wolters Kluwer Health, and Verispan.

Three medical data collection companies have challenged state laws in Maine and Vermont that limit access to prescription data. The Maine law allows doctors to opt out of sharing Rx data with outside companies, while the Vermont law requires doctors to opt into a program to share the data. Earlier this year, a law in New Hampshire that completely banned the sharing of Rx data was struck down. The lawsuits were filed by IMS Health, Wolters Kluwer Health, and Verispan. This year, 23 states are considering similar legislation. According to the companies, the laws block "vital healthcare information from public view while doing nothing to drive down prescription drug costs or improve the health and well-being of citizens," explained Randy Frankel, IMS VP, external affairs, in a written statement. "In fact, it's very likely they will have the opposite effect."