Hearing Thursday on Maine Online Marketing Bill

The Committee on Business, Research and Economic Development will be holding a hearing on Thursday afternoon on legislation in the Maine State Legislature that would prohibit certain pharmaceutical marketing to minors.  LD 1677 would prohibit the collection and use of personal information collected online from a minor who is at least 13 and under 17 years old for the purposes of pharmaceutical marketing in violation of rules to be adopted by the Maine Attorney General.  The text of the bill and other information about the proposal is available at: http://www.mainelegislature.org/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280035235

The bill also repeals the predatory marketing to minors law that was passed last year by the Maine State Legislature.  ANA helped a coalition of companies and trade groups which successfully challenged that law in federal court.  More information about that lawsuit is available at /advocacy/content/1944

LD 1677 would create a new unfair trade practice called "unlawful pharmaceutical marketing to minors" and directs the state attorney general to adopt rules governing this area within one year of the effective date.  As currently drafted, the bill would cover both prescription and over-the-counter products.  Some have argued for trying to narrow the bill to cover only prescription drug products.  While the federal COPPA legislation (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998) regulates the collection and use of personal information online from children under age 13, LD 1677 would cover children under 17 with respect to pharmaceutical marketing.

We are evaluating this bill and need your input on the impact this legislation would have on your company.  We will need to decide how to respond to this issue quickly so your feedback will be very valuable.   

If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Dan Jaffe (djaffe@ana.net) or Keith Scarborough (kscarborough@ana.net) in ANA's Washington, DC office at (202) 296-1883.