Data miners track docs' habits
Matthew Perrone of the Associated Press reports:
When most patients go to the pharmacy to fill a new prescription, they don’t think twice about turning over the note from their doctor.
After all, how much could the scrawled handwriting on that tiny slip be worth?
Not much to the average consumer — but to big drug makers, the information is an invaluable sales tool that they use to track which drugs individual doctors are prescribing all across the country.
Companies like IMS Health Inc. have built an industry around gathering prescription data and selling the information to pharmaceutical companies for millions of dollars each year.
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