Data Miners Can Inform Drug Companies Of Doctors’ Prescribing HabitsThe Baltimore Sun reports: "[P]harmaceutical companies that make prescription drugs are also looking over the doctor's shoulder, keeping track of how many prescriptions for whose drugs the individual physician is writing." The data is used to hone marketing pitches to individual physicians with carefully selected research findings. "Medical data firms annually blend several billion prescription records purchased from pharmacies and health insurers with physician data and sell the results to drug companies" (Zajac, 11/24).
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports: "A pilot program linking two of the largest electronic medical record systems in the country will be launched in San Diego County in mid-December by Kaiser Permanente and the federal Department of Veterans Affairs. Doctors and nurses at Kaiser and VA hospitals and clinics in the county will be able to access certain information about patients who receive care from both organizations, regardless of where those electronic records were created and stored" (Darce, 11/25).
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