Sorrell v. IMS health: Issues and opportunities for informaticians

Carolyn Petersen, Paul DeMuro, Kenneth W. Goodman, Bonnie Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In 2011, the US Supreme Court decided Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc., a case that addressed the mining of large aggregated databases and the sale of prescriber data for marketing prescription drugs. The court struck down a Vermont law that required data mining companies to obtain permission from individual providers before selling prescription records that included identifiable physician prescription information to pharmaceutical companies for drug marketing. The decision was based on constitutional free speech protections rather than data sharing considerations. Sorrell illustrates challenges at the intersection of biomedical informatics, public health, constitutional liberties, and ethics. As states, courts, regulatory agencies, and federal bodies respond to Sorrell, informaticians' expertise can contribute to more informed, ethical, and appropriate policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-37
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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