The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech. Defamation is a limitation on free speech. There are other limitations on free speech other than a false statement in the form of libel or slander. One such limitation is copyright law, which protects the writing and art of others from copying.
Another more subtle infringement on free speech was a prohibition by the Food and Drug Administration that barred pharmaceutical companies from marketing drugs for off-label use. In August 2015, a Federal Court in New York ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) cannot bar a pharmaceutical company from marketing a pill for off-label use as long as the claims of the drug company are truthful. This means that pharmaceutical companies can give doctors and others truthful accounts of medical studies of drugs for uses, even when the FDA has not approved the drug for such a use. Recent court decisions have held that the First Amendment restricts the FDA’s power to limit truthful speech about off-label uses that have not been approved by the FDA.
If you or someone you care about have questions about the boundaries between the First Amendment and defamation, contact Timothy Broderick and Katrina Saleen at the Broderick Saleen Law Firm for a free initial consultations about your case.
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