While data mining laws are mired in court, alternatives are
helping physicians control rep encounters and help states manage costs.
The Physician Data Restriction Program (PDRP), the American
Medical Association data opt-out plan, is drawing sign-ups at a rate of 120-130
per week, according to Jeremy Lazarus, MD, member, AMA Board of Trustees, and
speaker, House of Delegates. About 65% of its 12,000 enrollees have come from
outside AMA's 240,000-member base. Drug companies still get access to the data,
and the ability to use information for academic and other research purposes is
Courts have ruled against laws in New Hampshire and Maine.
At press time, both were on appeal, while Vermont had tweaked its law to avoid
a similar fate but kept data mining restrictions in tact.
After New Hampshire, “States went in other directions to
manage cost and quality…such as preferred drug lists,” said Randy Frankel, VP
for external affairs, IMS Health. “Others are experimenting with academic
detailing efforts, which by the way are driven by provider-level data.”
Minnesota's physician gift reporting laws, California's
codifying of voluntary marketing guidelines and the District of Columbia's tack
to license sales reps are among other alternatives.