Continued from page 1

He suggested that the drugmakers could use the ruling to challenge Food and Drug Administration limits on the “off-label” marketing of prescription drugs. Under existing regulations, companies may not tell doctors that a drug can be put to a use other than the one approved by the FDA.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, criticized the decision as “another example of this court using the First Amendment as a tool to bolster the rights of big business at the expense of individual Americans.”

The Associated Press joined other media companies and press freedom groups in urging the court to strike down the Vermont law.

The case is Sorrell v. IMS Health, 10-779.