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High court casts doubt on Maine law

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has thrown out an appeals court ruling upholding Maine’s restrictions on the sale of doctors’ drug prescribing habits, following last week’s high court ruling striking down a similar law in Vermont.

The federal appeals court in Boston upheld data-mining restrictions in Maine and New Hampshire, while the New York-based appeals court struck down the Vermont law.

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 last week that the Vermont law unfairly restricts data-mining and pharmaceutical companies from using the information detailing doctors’ prescribing records, though without patient names.

Tuesday’s order directs the Boston-based court to take a new look at the Maine law in light of the Supreme Court ruling.

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