Medical records of almost 180,000 patients handed to US firms connected to tobacco industry by British health officials, Telegraph probe reveals

Laura Donnelly reports:

The medical records of British cancer victims have been handed to a controversial American firm working for one of the world’s biggest tobacco companies, the Daily Telegraph can reveal.

The data covering almost 180,000 patients – every case of lung cancer diagnosed in England over a four year period – was given by health officials to a firm which has acted to cigarette giants Philip Morris International for almost three decades.

It is feared the company could use the anonymised data in legal cases minimising the dangers of smoking, or fighting regulation.

The sensitive information, taken from NHS records, was taken without the consent of any of the cancer sufferers or their families.

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