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Vt. data mining law to be heard by High Court - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. data mining law to be heard by High Court

Washington D.C. - April 25, 2011

Vermont goes before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday to defend its data mining law.

A federal appeals court struck down the law last fall saying it violates the first amendment. The law was designed to prevent pharmaceutical companies from gathering information on doctor's prescribing habits. Vermont Law School professor Cheryl Hanna says the state has a tough case.

"People say - gee, well it's one thing if it's a consumer, right? Maybe consumers do need some more government regulations so they're not swept into pharmaceutical advertising. But doctors are pretty sophisticated consumers and they can refuse to see pharmaceutical representatives, and so I think one of the hurdles the state is really going to have to get over is convincing the court doctors need this kind of protection," she said.

Hanna says because the legislature passes progressive laws that are more likely to be challenged, Vermont must spend the time and money it takes to defend those laws before the Supreme Court.

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