Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pharmacy data - mining (consumers sue to protect their privacy)

I've blogged recently about how pharma data-mining companies buy and sell patient pharmacy data.  We've seen situations in our off-label cases where pharma companies buy this data to determine if its off-label marketing efforts are bearing fruit.  But some consumer groups are seeking to put an end to pharma data mining; expect to see more of this type of litigation. 

CVS Pharmacy raked in millions by selling consumers' confidential prescription information to some of the nation's largest pharmaceutical manufacturers, according to a class action Monday.  "Not content with the receipt of the substantial funds generated from the performance of pharmacy services, defendants instead chose to generate additional sources of revenue from the confidential prescription information entrusted by consumers to defendants," the complaint in Philadelphia County Court states.  Arthur Steinberg and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Health and Welfare Fund filed the suit on behalf of other consumers who have received unsolicited communications after CVS allegedly sold customers' private information to Eli Lilly and Co., Merck, AstraZeneca, Bayer, and other drug manufacturers.

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