(NaturalNews) A representative from the Ireland-based biopharmaceutical company Jazz Pharmaceuticals who was previously convicted of illegally marketing prescription drugs for off-label uses has been vindicated after a federal appeals court ruled the illicit marketing to be nothing more than simple “free speech.” In a two-to-one decision made by a three-judge panel, it was determined that drug representatives can now freely advise doctors on how to prescribe drugs for unapproved uses, a ruling that could also end up proving beneficial for the natural supplement industry.
According to The New York Times (NYT), the decision from New York’s Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan contradicts many years’ worth of rulings that resulted in drug companies having to fork over billions of dollars in settlements and penalties to the federal government for what had previously been considered violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). Because as we all know, unless the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives its blessing to a particular food or drug, there is no such thing as free speech concerning its health benefits.
But this now appears to have changed, at least for Big Pharma, which will be free to invent new uses for existing drugs, and market them for such uses apart from having to gain proper FDA approval. Doctors have long been free to prescribe drugs for off-label purposes as they see fit, of course, but drug representatives have been prohibited from engaging in this deceptive practice as the FDA considers it to be “misbranding” and “false” advertising. Unless the FDA grants express permission for a specific statement to be made about a food or drug, in other words, then that statement cannot legally be made.