Anxiety over England’s project to sell anonymised medical data

Both The Guardian and The Independent are running reports that question the confidentiality of patient data to be made available to medical and pharma research bodies and companies through England’s plans to collate anonymised medical records.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre is set to sell the data in a bid to enable pharma and other interested purchasers to better understand population safety data.

Campaign groups such as medConfidential, however, say that it would be possible to uncover separate information that would help make the anonymized data identifiable by individual patient.

“The Wellcome Trust’s and Medical Research Council’s own studies show that around a quarter of the population don’t want their sensitive health details being shared, even for medical research.

“And this is their absolute right. So if opt out rates turn out significantly lower than 25% this spring, it won’t be an indication of success. It’ll point more to a massive whitewash.”

medConfidential, campaigners against use of medical records data.

 

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Related news:

Patients will be identifiable when firms are given access to confidential NHS data, experts warn (The Independent).

NHS patient data to be made available for sale to drug and insurance firms (The Guardian).

Reference link:

‘Research organisations promote medical record data grab’ (medConfidential press release)

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