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B.C. government investigates PharmaNet data breach

B.C.
B.C.'s PharmaNet system records names, addresses, CareCard numbers and a history of medications prescribed.
— image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The B.C. government is keeping 7,500 people informed on progress of its investigation into the unauthorized access to their patient profiles on the PharmaNet data base, Health Minister Terry Lake says.

No financial information appears to be compromised in the incident, which took place through four B.C. physicians' offices in late 2016 and early 2017. PharmaNet is used by pharmacists and 3,000 doctors' offices, storing names, addresses, CareCard numbers and the past 14 months of medication history.

"We are working diligently to investigate the motivation behind this, how it happened as well, and a separate review of security is ongoing in terms of the PharmaNet database," Lake said Thursday.

Premier Christy Clark said she is "profoundly concerned" about the security of medical information. If police or other outside expertise are required to determine what happened, they will be called in, she said.

"And if anyone in the government is found to be responsible for this, anyone in the employ of the public service, anyone who gets their fees from the government is found to be responsible, they will be fired immediately," Clark said.

"There are very few things in your life as private as some of the details of the medication that you're taking, the illnesses you may have experienced."

 

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