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

What's new on AEI

Expanding opportunity in America
image Moving beyond fear: Addressing the threat of the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria
image Foreign policy is not a 'CSI' episode
image The Air Force’s vital role
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Monday, July 21, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Closing the gaps in health outcomes: Alternative paths forward

Please join us for a broader exploration of targeted interventions that provide real promise for reducing health disparities, limiting or delaying the onset of chronic health conditions, and improving the performance of the US health care system.

Monday, July 21, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Comprehending comprehensive universities

Join us for a panel discussion that seeks to comprehend the comprehensives and to determine the role these schools play in the nation’s college completion agenda.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | 8:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Who governs the Internet? A conversation on securing the multistakeholder process

Please join AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy for a conference to address key steps we can take, as members of the global community, to maintain a free Internet.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Expanding opportunity in America: A conversation with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan

Please join us as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveils a new set of policy reforms aimed at reducing poverty and increasing upward mobility throughout America.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Is it time to end the Export-Import Bank?

We welcome you to join us at AEI as POLITICO’s Ben White moderates a lively debate between Tim Carney, one of the bank’s fiercest critics, and Tony Fratto, one of the agency’s staunchest defenders.

Event Registration is Closed
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.