NHS patient data to be made available for sale to drug and insurance firms | Society | The Guardian

Privacy experts warn there will be no way for public to work out who has their medical records or how they are using it

NHS branding

If an application is approved then firms will have to pay to extract NHS patient information, which will be scrubbed of some personal identifiers Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Drug and insurance companies will from later this year be able to buy information on patients – including mental health conditions and diseases such as cancer, as well as smoking and drinking habits – once a single English database of medical data has been created.
Harvested from GP and hospital records, medical data covering the entire population will be uploaded to the repository controlled by a new arms-length NHS information centre, starting in March. Never before has the entire medical history of the nation been digitised and stored in one place.

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