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Federal judge rules New Hampshire prescription info law unconstitutional

[JURIST] A federal judge ruled Monday that a New Hampshire law [text] requiring that prescription information identifiable to particular doctors be kept confidential from pharmaceutical sales representatives violates the First Amendment and is unconstitutional. IMS Health and Verispan [corporate websites] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; IMS case materials] last year after the law took effect, arguing that the so-called Prescription Restraint Law violates the first amendment by criminalizing their commercial and non-commercial speech, should be declared void for vagueness and overbreadth, and violates the dormant commerce clause.

According to an IMS press release [PDF text], US District Judge Paul Barbadoro found that the law "unconstitutionally restricted speech without directly serving the State's substantial interests" and that "alternatives exist that would achieve the State's interests as well as or better without restricting speech." New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte said Monday that the state is considering appealing the decision. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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