Friday, July 23, 2004

CBC News: P.E.I. to track prescription drug abuse

Prescription drug abuse has consistently presented one of the greatest challenges to the privacy of patient prescriptions. Health Canada has recently required many pharmacists to report prescriptions of certain drugs. Now it looks like the government of Prince Edward Island is proposing to introduce a province-wide computer system to drack prescriptions. Privacy is obviously an issue. Pharmacists and private practice physicians are subject to PIPEDA and are unable to disclose personal information without consent.

CBC News: P.E.I. to track prescription drug abuse:

"Last Updated Fri, 23 Jul 2004 15:22:45 EDT

The government's software could let doctors, hospitals and pharmacists share information on what prescriptions their patients are pocketing, but it's unlikely they will have access when the system launches in the fall.

Under the privacy act, doctors and pharmacists are not allowed to trade information about a patient without that person's consent."

One thing to remember is that PIPEDA has a catch-all exception to the consent principle buried in the end of section 7:

(3) For the purpose of clause 4.3 of Schedule 1, and despite the note that accompanies that clause, an organization may disclose personal information without the knowledge or consent of the individual only if the disclosure is ...

(c.1) made to a government institution or part of a government institution that has made a request for the information, identified its lawful authority to obtain the information and indicated that ...

(iii) the disclosure is requested for the purpose of administering any law of Canada or a province;

...

(i) required by law.

If the pharmacist is "required by law" to disclose the information, the pharmacist arguably may dispense with consent.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Nice software. Tracking the patients prescription to whatever they take. It's really an issue about the privacy because those transactions are only within the pharmacist and the buyer.

prescription drug abuse-mike u.