Pharmaceutical wholesaler and healthcare information technology vendor McKesson Corp., San Francisco, has set up a telephone assistance hot line for patients enrolled in a drug assistance program who may be victims of identify theft following the loss of two computers containing patient information, according a company spokeswoman.
A woman on the hot line (866-554-6366) who said she worked for McKesson confirmed today that a database on one of two stolen computers may have contained patients' names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers; their prescribed drugs, dosages and prescribers; and the pharmacies where their prescription were filled. The woman said she didn't know how many patients might be affected. A request for more information was directed to a McKesson corporate communications media hot line voice mail. Several requests for more information this morning went unanswered by deadline.
On Friday, Information Week writer Sharon Gaudin reported on a letter that was sent to a patient whose name may have been on one of the stolen computers. The letter was from Patrick Blake, president of McKesson Specialty Pharmaceutical. According to Gaudin's story, Blake wrote, "At this point, we have not determined if your personal information was on either stolen computer. However, we are taking the precaution of notifying every patient whose information might have been on the computers, just to be safe. We also have taken steps to ensure this doesn't happen again by increasing and improving employee understanding and awareness of corporate security policies and procedures, policies for handling patient data, and company security processes. We deeply regret that this incident occurred."