Washington Legislature: Bill to keep prescription data from drug firms

Kathie Durbin reports:

If you think your prescription drug history is a confidential medical record, think again.

Thanks to a loophole in federal privacy laws, it’s legal for pharmacists to share that history with drug company marketers, who can use the information to promote specific drugs directly to consumers.

States can plug that loophole by passing stricter confidentiality laws covering drug records. Only California has done so.

Under House Bill 1493, scheduled for a public hearing in Olympia Tuesday, Washington would join that short list.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, and co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, will be heard by the House Committee on Health Care and Wellness at 1:30 p.m. It has to pass that committee by Feb. 8 to stay alive in this legislative session.

Among the organizations supporting the change are AARP and the Washington Hospital Association. A similar bill introduced last session drew opposition from a national pharmaceutical company’s lobbyist.

Read more on Columbian.com

About the author: Dissent

Comments are closed.