WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states cannot limit drug manufacturers' use of information about which prescription drugs doctors like to prescribe.

The court voted 6-3 to strike down a Vermont data-mining law aimed at boosting the use of generic drugs by controlling the flow of information about brand-name medications. The ruling imperils similar laws in Maine and New Hampshire.

The laws prevent the sale of information about individual doctors' prescribing records without the doctors' permission.

Pharmacies get that information when they fill prescriptions. They sell the information, without patient names, to data mining companies that, in turn, provide drug makers with a detailed look at what drugs doctors choose for their patients.

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