Pharmaceutical Promotion and First Amendment Rights
Letter to the Editor

Resident Fellow
Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
Dr. Gottlieb and Mr. Troy comment on the constitutionality of off-label pharmaceutical promotion in response to the Journal's April 17 article Pharmaceutical Promotion to Physicians and First Amendment Rights.

Kesselheim and Avorn (April 17 issue)[1] dramatically understate the robust, sound constitutional protection the U.S. Supreme Court affords truthful, nonmisleading commercial communication such as that embodied in reprints of scientific articles discussing off-label uses.[2][3][4] Their suggestion that physicians need protection from the very journal articles they receive through subscription or library services is utterly at odds with the Court's forceful rejection of government paternalism.

Appropriate off-label use that informs proper patient care is fostered by more, not less, communication of truthful, nonmisleading information. It is unclear how articles published in the Journal lose their educational benefit and public health value (never mind constitutional protection) when manufacturers buy them as reprints from the Journal and distribute them to information-seeking physicians.

Scott Gottlieb, M.D., is a resident fellow at AEI.

Notes

1. Kesselheim AS, Avorn J. Pharmaceutical promotion to physicians and First Amendment rights. N Engl J Med 2008;358:1727-1732.
2. Cincinnati v. Discovery Network, 507 U.S. 410 (1993).
3. Edenfield v. Fane, 507 U.S. 761 (1993).
4. Ibanez v. Florida Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation, 512 U.S. 136 (1994).

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Scott
Gottlieb
  • Scott Gottlieb, M.D., a practicing physician, has served in various capacities at the Food and Drug Administration, including senior adviser for medical technology; director of medical policy development; and, most recently, deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs. Dr. Gottlieb has also served as a senior policy adviser at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 

    Click here to read Scott’s Medical Innovation blog.


    Follow Scott Gottlieb on Twitter.

  • Phone: 202.862.5885
    Email: scott.gottlieb@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Kelly Funderburk
    Phone: 202.862.5920
    Email: Kelly.Funderburk@AEI.org

What's new on AEI

image The Census Bureau and Obamacare: Dumb decision? Yes. Conspiracy? No.
image A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
image Give the CBO long-range tools
image The coming collapse of India's communists
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 14
    MON
  • 15
    TUE
  • 16
    WED
  • 17
    THU
  • 18
    FRI
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Calling treason by its name: A conversation with Liam Fox

Join us at AEI as the Right Honorable Liam Fox sits down with Marc Thiessen to discuss and debate whether America’s intelligence agencies have infringed on the personal privacy of US citizens.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The curmudgeon's guide to getting ahead

How can young people succeed in workplaces dominated by curmudgeons who are judging their every move? At this AEI book event, bestselling author and social scientist Charles Murray will offer indispensable advice for navigating the workplace, getting ahead, and living a fulfilling life.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.