AMA, states continue data mining alternatives

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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 maintained.

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. 

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