NHS patient data to be made available for sale to drug and insurance firms (UK)

Author: Randeep Ramesh, Guardian (UK), Published on: 19 January 2014

Drug and insurance companies will from later this year be able to buy information on patients – including mental health conditions and diseases such as cancer, as well as smoking and drinking habits –…medical data covering the entire population will be uploaded to the repository controlled by a new arms-length NHS information centre…Advocates say that sharing data will make medical advances easier and…it will allow researchers to investigate drug side effects…But privacy experts warn there will be no way for the public to work out who has their medical records….insurers and drug companies – will be able to apply to the new Health and Social Care Information Centre to gain access to the database.…certain patients could be "re-identified" because …companies had their own medical data that could be matched...opened up data to charities and companies without clearly spelling out privacy safeguards left serious unanswered questions about patient confidentiality...[refers to Bupa].

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Related companies: BUPA