Commercial free speech? Or a get-out-of-jail-free card for pharma companies?
Tonight at 7 on the Philadelphia CNN-News affiliate WFMZ-TV, The American Law Journal presents "Drug Companies, Off-Label Marketing and Free Speech" in the aftermath of U.S. v. Caronia. Joining host Christopher Naughton are New York criminal defense attorney Jennifer L. McCann, who represented Alfred Caronia; plaintiffs counsel Brian J. McCormick Jr. of Sheller P.C.; journalist Ed Silverman of Pharmalot; and from CNN's Washington, D.C., studios, former FDA counsel Anne K. Walsh, now representing drug companies with Hyman, Phelps & McNamara.
The conclusion in Caronia was that off-label marketing is "protected free speech."
"This is a very important decision that impacts companies and I think we will see a lot of change in the way the government prosecutes its cases," Walsh said.
McCormick countered, "This idea of corporate free speech is one we should be worried about. [But] the case just decided in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (U.S. v. Harkonen) with similar issues ... ruled the other way."
The program airs at 7 p.m. today and replays at 5:30 p.m. Sunday preceding WFMZ-TV news. The show becomes available this week on www.LawJournalTV.com as well as YouTube.
View WFMZ-HD over the air and on all cable and satellite systems; see http://bit.ly/ALJchannels. FiOS system subscribers, tune to channel 15.
Next week on The American Law Journal: "Bankruptcy 7 and 13 Loan Modifications and Negotiating Mortgages."