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Prescription Record Privacy Act

California State Assemblyman Bill Monning recently introduced Assembly Bill 2112 that prohibits pharmaceutical companies, data mining firms, and others, from obtain information from doctors about which prescription drugs they are using to treat patients. The bill goes before the Assembly’s Committee on Health today and is modeled after a New Hampshire Law. The Confidentiality of Medical Information Act prohibits a provider of health care, a health care service plan, contractor, or corporation and its subsidiaries and affiliates from intentionally sharing, selling, using for marketing, or otherwise using any medical information, as defined, for any purpose not necessary to provide health care services to a patient, unless a specified exception applies. The legislative reason for the bill is to prevent pharmaceutical companies influencing the prescribing practicers of doctors. Drug companies state that the prescription data they receive helps them communicate more effectively with doctors by providing them with timely, unique, and valuable prescription drug information. An interesting article appeared in the Santa Cruz Centinel about this issue. I also find it very interesting that the pharmaceutical industry spends over $60 billion dollars on research and development yet reportedly spends double that on marketing.

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