Drugs Companies Buy NHS Patient Data, Register Reveals

James Edgar | The Telegraph | April 3, 2014

Some of world's biggest pharmaceutical companies have bought NHS patient data, a new register has revealed. Drugs corporations including Bayer, Baxter, AstraZeneca and Roche are among dozens of private firms sold information, as well as Bupa, the healthcare provider.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), which in charge of NHS data, said the list was part of a “drive towards greater transparency and building public trust".However, privacy groups said it fell short of providing patients the “full picture”.

In total, 104 health and social care organisations, such as NHS trusts, and bodies like universities and charities were included, alongside 56 private firms. The HSCIC’s register lists each organisation, the type of data handed over, the legal basis for release and the purpose for which the data was provided...