No, it’s not OK for the government to use your prescription details to recruit you for a study

Electronic health records Privacy Data protection Data breaches Medicare Mental health Australia

Psychiatrists raised concerns after receiving complaints from patients who had received the letters and accused their psychiatrists of breaching patient confidentiality.

The doctors didn’t breach confidentiality. Instead, DHS, which delivers social and health payments and services, including via Medicare, used data held by Medicare to contact patients who had previously been prescribed lithium on behalf of researchers from the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

Patients were invited to complete an online survey, and potentially provide DNA samples, to identify genetic markers associated with bipolar disorder.

Read the full article on The Conversation.

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