Major Pharmacies Release Customer Medical Records to Police Without Warrants. Here Are Some of Them. - Conservative Nation
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Major Pharmacies Release Customer Medical Records to Police Without Warrants. Here Are Some of Them.



The pharmaceutical industry is held in low esteem by most Americans.

Complaints of releasing customer’s medical records to police and government agencies without warrants are now added to accusations of gross price gouging.

According to the Washington Examiner, which cited the Monday release of a Congressional Investigative Report, “Several major pharmacies” have released confidential medical information to “local law enforcement and federal investigators without warrants.”

Disclosed information includes prescription history and medical records. Additionally, the report revealed that pharmacies released this information without notifying the customer before or after the fact.

Offending companies include RiteAid, CVS Pharmacy, Kroger, Walgreens, Boots Alliance, Cigna, Optum Rx, Walmart, and Amazon Pharmacy.

Several government leaders have pledged to enact policies to prevent this practice in the future. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Sara Jacobs (D-CA) reportedly sent a complaint letter to the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

An excerpt from the letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, read: “Through briefings with the major pharmacies, we learned that each year law enforcement agencies secretly obtain the prescription records of thousands of Americans without a warrant.”

The letter continued: “In many cases, pharmacies are handing over sensitive medical records without review by a legal professional. Although pharmacies are legally permitted to tell their customers about government demands for their data, most don’t.”

Pushing back, a CVS Health spokeswoman said the company’s processes are consistent with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a federal law designed to protect patient privacy.

CVS Health spokeswoman Amy Thibault told the Washington Examiner in a statement that “The Office for Civil Rights, the agency that enforces HIPAA, has reviewed our processes on multiple occasions and deemed them to be compliant. Additionally, our processes are consistent with industry practices.”

Thibault, however, suggested a process review and recommended a judge-issued subpoena be requirement before medical information is released to third parties in the future.

Concerned lawmakers concur. Their letter to Becerra read: “Pharmacies can and should insist on a warrant, and invite law enforcement agencies that insist on demanding patient medical records with solely a subpoena to go to court to enforce that demand. The requirement for a warrant is exactly the approach taken by tech companies to protect customer privacy.”

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