Anyone who is even a casual reader of Pharma Marketing News knows that we support consumers' right to privacy and believe that pharmaceutical marketers need to beef up their privacy policies if they hope to improve consumer trust. So it may surprise you when we say that a new Texas privacy law goes too far in its apparent zeal to protect patients' privacy. In fact, we believe that this law's real purpose is to limit the ability of pharmaceutical companies and their agents to communicate product information directly to consumers in Texas.
The privacy law we talking about is the Texas Medical Privacy Act (SB 11). SB 11 is known in some quarters as "super HIPAA" because it applies super-stringent HIPAA-like privacy regulations to pharmaceutical companies, their advertising/ marketing agencies and other entities - even individuals. A covered entity under SB 11 is "any person who assembles, collects, analyses, uses, evaluates, stores, or transmits protected health information." The law becomes effective in Texas September 1, 2003.