The Debate Over The Adequacy Of Restrictions On Commercial Speech And Free Market Competition

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The debate over the adequacy of restrictions on commercial speech and free market competition has long been contentious. This contention stems from arguments over whether the laws relating to commercial speech and free market competition promote the well-being and productivity of citizens by helping to capture the benefits of social cooperation. In a democratic society, institutions, particularly law, are the cornerstone in determining the conditions that enable individuals to capture the potential benefits of trade and exchange. In the instance of commercial free speech and competition, the decisions in the cases of the Virginia State Board, the NCAA, and Microsoft Corporation, personify how the corresponding laws have proven to be beneficial to both society and business. The Supreme Court Case of Virginia State Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council was an important case in determining the application of the First Amendment to commercial speech. The statute in question prohibited pharmacists from advertising the prices of prescription drugs and found those who did guilty of unprofessional conduct. More specifically, section 54-524.35 of Va.Code Ann. (1974) states “that a pharmacist licensed in Virginia is guilty of unprofessional conduct if he ‘publishes, advertises or promotes, directly or indirectly, in any manner whatsoever, any amount, price, fee, premium, discount, rebate or credit terms . . . for any drugs which may be dispensed only by

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