Privacy Law Broken to Boost Drug Sales

As a health care provider this story is eye-brow raising but unsurprising. Two ex-pharmaceutical drug reps are suing a drug company, Amgen, Inc, for breaking the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or as it is known in many circles as the “HIPAA law.” The two reps allege that they were instructed to go through patients medical records in order to boost drugs sale of Enbrel, an injectable drug used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. The drug reps would call the insurance companies directly, under false pretenses, to get the drug approved for the patient and the doctor would follow suit with a prescription order even when it wasn’t warranted. Deplorable practice. If this isn’t proof enough to separate or distance pharmaceutical reps from doctors, I don’t know what is. I could share stories but I think I’ll refrain. If this is indeed true then all kinds of federal laws have been broken here that can lead up to a stiff fine and some jail time. I’m sure this is not an isolated case.

via Time

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