12:00 AM
 | 
May 06, 2002
 |  BioCentury  |  Regulation

Supreme Court slaps FDA

In case there was any doubt, the Supreme Court made it perfectly clear last week that FDA must comply with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which grants Americans freedom of speech.

In a case brought against the Department of Health and Human Services by Western States Medical Center, a group of pharmacies, the court ruled that prohibitions on advertising compounding services are unconstitutional. The case has broad implications for biotech and pharmaceutical companies because it could affect how the agency regulates dissemination of information, advertising and other activities, according to Peter Barton Hutt, a partner at Covington & Burling in Washington.

"This is a landmark watershed opinion because the court accepts that the First Amendment applies to the FDA," said Hutt, who was formerly chief counsel at the agency. "The FDA has been in the courts...

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