They Know You Buy Viagra and They Want to Sell You More

Here’s how matchbacks work: Companies known as data brokers — IMS Health Holdings Inc. (IMS) is one of the biggest — have amassed hundreds of millions of prescription records, buying them from drug benefit managers such as Express Scripts Holding Co. (ESRX) and CVS Health Corp.

“It involves tracking patients over time anonymously,” said Jody Fisher, director of U.S. product management for Danbury, Connecticut-based IMS, which has dossiers on more than 500 million patients worldwide.

The technique’s growing use is raising alarms that technological advances are undoing protections provided by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the federal medical privacy law, according to Bloomberg interviews with more than 60 industry executives, regulators and privacy advocates. Websites and data firms exist in a legal blind spot because HIPAA applies to doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, insurance companies and their contractors.

Matchbacks are part of a broader trend of pharmacies, hospitals and others riffling through Americans’ medicine cabinets. Hospitals are scouring credit-card records to learn about patients’ vices such as smoking and unhealthy eating, hedge funds are listening on health forums to glean pharmaceutical investment tips, and marketing companies are aggregating bits and pieces of information to assemble lists of people suffering from certain conditions.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-10/they-know-you-buy-viagra-and-they-want-to-sell-you-more.html

Privacy Concerns Grow as Pharma Uses Data to Target Consumers

http://blogs.wsj.com/pharmalot/2014/12/10/privacy-concerns-grow-as-pharma-uses-data-to-target-consumers/

One thought on “They Know You Buy Viagra and They Want to Sell You More

If you don't comment, I'll just assume you agree with me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s