News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Software company defends sale of patients' data to drug companies

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7509.128-c (Published 14 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:128
  1. Bob Burton
  1. Canberra

    The largest retailer of specialist software for general practitioners has sought to quell disquiet over the sale of information from patients' electronic files to consultants advising the drug industry. The data on patients is anonymised, but companies are able to extract from it doctors' prescribing patterns.

    In an email to doctors, Edmund Bateman, the managing director of Primary Health Care, a healthcare services company, responded to critics of the practice, saying that “it is offensive to suggest we are interested in providing confidential records to anyone.”

    Health Communications Network, a subsidiary of Primary Health Care, has sold a software program, Medical …

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