Sunday, December 09, 2012

Court voids drug rep’s conviction, cites free speech

"A divided federal appeals court on Monday threw out the conviction of a sales representative for promoting off-label use of a prescription drug, a ruling that could make it harder for the government to police how drugs are marketed and sold.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York found that the sales representative's free speech rights under the First Amendment had been violated."


Once the FDA has certified that a drug is safe, it seems petty for the FDA to forbid use of it in new applications.  But it is all about bureaucratic power rather than anything that helps the public. So it is good that the 1st Amendment again comes to the rescue.  There is no doubt that discussing uses for a drug is speech.

The usual way for medical reps to operate is in fact to give doctors a copy of a scientific journal article that reports or discusses an "off-label" usage of a drug. Doctors are not going to be impressed by much else. It takes a bureaucrat to believe that scientific information should not be circulated.


Anonymous said...

Interesting, I wonder if this might reverse some of the multi-million/billion dollar fines that the government has extorted from drug companies.

Anonymous said...

Want to know what 'promoting' means in this context.
If it is merely informing doctors of studies then that could hardly be problematic.