A federal judge took an unusual step of asking lawyers to critique a draft of his factual findings before ruling in IMS Health and Verispan’s high-profile challenge to New Hampshire’s state law limiting drug company access to doctors’ prescribing habits.
The Associated Press reported that Judge Paul Barbadoro asked lawyers for both sides in the case to meet with him to review his proposed factual findings, apparently in hopes to address some objections before ruling and providing the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston with a clear decision.
Barbadoro cautioned that no one should try to predict his ruling from the draft, but some of his comments showed his skepticism about key arguments – including the state’s contention that detailing drives up drug prices.
“If reasonable medical people disagree,” about the merits of various drugs for the same medical condition, “you have a stronger argument that speech restrictions are dangerous,” Barbadoro said.
Barbadoro said he expects to rule within 30 days.