MDLinx Doc Survey on Sorrell SCOTUS Case Reveals Range of Attitudes on Prescription History Records

June 23, 2011

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In the wake of today’s landmark Supreme Court case Sorrell vs. IMS Health, U.S. doctors are expressing strong opinions regarding the utilization of their prescribing data by pharmaceutical companies. A new poll by MDLinx, one of the largest web portals for physician information and news, assessed the positions of 740 U.S. physicians regarding the prescribing histories to which pharmaceutical representatives have access prior to office visits.

“The poll results show that this is a sensitive issue for the majority of physicians. That knowledge is highly valuable to pharmaceutical companies, who want to market their products in a way that builds relationships with the physicians who prescribe their drugs,” said Stephen Smith, Chief Strategist for M3 USA, the parent company of MDLinx.

When asked if they would proactively “opt in” to a system which would collect their prescribing records, 81% of physicians answered no, with 19% stating they would. When asked if they considered the collection of their prescribing history a violation of their privacy, 65.3% answered yes. When asked about their overall opinion of the practice, only three percent of physicians said they supported it, with 65.3% saying they were against it and the remainder stating they did not care about the issue. “Pharmaceutical companies have been monitoring our prescription writing for years,” said one responding physician. “The insurance companies already watch us and the government already watches us.”

Some physicians who stated they were against the practice expressed specific patient privacy concerns. “In a small town, especially with patients who have a rare condition, it would be easy to find out what medication which patients are taking,” said one respondent. “I only have one patient with multiple sclerosis, her meds would be easy to find out.”

About MDLinx

MDLinx is an award-winning, practical medical information tool used by busy physicians and healthcare professionals to stay up to date with the latest research in the medical field. On a daily basis, the company’s physician editors read, rank and sort published data and research from leading news media and more than 1,300 peer-reviewed journals in 35 specialties. MDLinx’s content and services are provided at no charge to member physicians. MDLinx is a web property of M3 USA, which offers information solutions to healthcare providers and marketing solutions to the pharmaceutical industry.