Ministry letter reveals research company sold patient data to firms

A warning letter sent by the Health Ministry to the governor’s offices of 81 provinces has revealed that a research company that collected patients’ personal data from pharmacies as part of a project sold the data to a number of pharmaceutical companies.

The international Cegedim Business Solutions Research and Consulting Company collected patients’ personal data and medical records as well as data about doctors and hospitals from pharmacies throughout the country as part of a research project titled “Pharmacy Panel Project” and allegedly sold the data to pharmaceutical companies.

According to a report published in the Vatan daily on Monday, this nation-wide scandal was revealed to the public after the Health Ministry sent a warning statement to governor’s offices across the country. The ministry warned the offices about the scandal and asked them to warn pharmacies not to share patients’ personal or medical data with any person or institution.

In its warning letter, the Health Ministry also stated that they are unaffiliated with the research company’s project. The report claimed that the ministry was informed about the scandal thanks to a warning from the Turkish Pharmacists’ Association. In its warning, the association warned the ministry that the same international research company has been conducting a number of other projects under the titles “Sales Analysis” and “Perspectives of Pharmacists in the Pharmaceutical Industry.”