The introduction of Vermont’s Data Mining Law and the subsequent court battle and rulings may have accidentally encouraged focused pharmaceutical detailing, the exact practice Vermont sought to squash.  In June 2007 the Vermont legislature passed its Prescription Confidentiality Law.  According to its text, the Vermont legislature believed that prohibiting the use of prescription information for marketing purposes would protect the privacy of prescribers and ensure that health care costs are contained.  Without  this prescription information pharmaceutical representatives of branded manufacturers would no longer be able to target physicians with certain prescribing habits, and their ability to promote their drugs effectively would be diminished.  Ironically, however, the legal battle, the press and the Supreme Court’s recent Opinion remind people how effective and powerful focused pharmaceutical detailing can be.  In recent years, many pharmaceutical companies have looked at new avenues for promotion, including increased visibility on the Internet.  One often wondered whether the days of traditional detailing were numbered.  After reading the majority opinion, however, I am more convinced than ever that pharmaceutical detailing has a place at the table.  The majority opinion points out that Vermont practitioners consider detailing based on prescriber identifying information to be “very helpful.” Not only do many prescribers find such information informative, but the recent review of the practice suggests that it is very effective. The state itself claimed in its brief that “pharmaceutical marketing has a strong influence on doctor’s prescribing practices.”  The majority decision also suggests that the government prohibited such detailing because “it found it too persuasive.”  Who knew that Vermont’s law prohibiting the use of prescribing information for marketing would have the unintended effect of creating a record establishing how useful and effective it can be?   In the wake of Vermont’s failure it will certainly be interesting to see if pharmaceutical companies place renewed energy on detailing.