PharmaNet breach compromises personal BC medical info

Approximately 7,500 people have had their medical information compromised, B.C.’s Ministry of Health confirmed Wednesday.

Government says unknown individuals accessed the information at least four times in the last five months

Letters were sent out at the beginning of February indicating that there was a breach to the PharmaNet system. The system carries personal information for British Columbians such as their full names, addresses, CareCard numbers, and even medication history.

PharmaNet is the province-wide network that links all B.C. pharmacies to a central set of data systems. Every prescription dispensed in B.C. is entered into PharmaNet.

A statement from the Ministry of Health said they became aware of “unusual Pharmanet system” as early as last fall.

The ministry said they have begun to send letters to affected patients and doctors, notifying them of the breach and advising them of precautionary steps they can take to protect themselves from identify theft.

They said an investigation and an independent security review of PharmaNet are underway.

What is PharmaNet?

PharmaNet is the province-wide network that links all B.C. pharmacies to a central set of data systems. Every prescription dispensed in B.C. is entered into PharmaNet.

PharmaNet—administered by the Ministry of Health and the College of Pharmacists of B.C.—was developed in consultation with health professionals and the public to improve prescription safety and support prescription claim processing.

PharmaNet users include community pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, emergency departments, community health practices, the College of Pharmacists of B.C. and the College of Physicians & Surgeons of B.C.

Making this comprehensive information available to health professionals provides them with a stronger base for clinical decision making, supporting better care and improved patient safety.

BC GOV PHARMANET INFO