How can drug companies use my medical information to market to me?


The Amended Rule provides regulatory permission for pharmacies to obtain virtually any information about an individual without his knowledge or consent if they can assert that they need the information for treatment, payment or health care operations.

The pharmacy may then disclose the health information to any drug company (or any other entity) that “performs or assists in the performance of a function or activity involving the use or disclosure of identifiable health information” on behalf of the pharmacy.

Example: A depressed patient’s pharmacy can obtain the information about his/her depression and attempted suicide and disclose it to a drug company if it is in the context of some “function or activity” performed by the drug company for the pharmacy.