Chicago Tribune Examines Patient Privacy Issues Surrounding Eli Lilly, Prozac Incident
The Chicago Tribune yesterday examined prescription drug marketing practices, which may "place patients' health and privacy at risk." Consumer advocacy groups this week raised concerns about "aggressive drug marketing" after the Florida attorney general's office launched an investigation into whether Eli Lilly & Co. illegally mailed free samples of Prozac to patients who take other antidepressants (Japsen, Chicago Tribune, 7/11). Last week, a South Florida woman who received a free sample of once-a-week Prozac filed suit against Eli Lilly, her doctors and pharmacy chain Walgreen Co. for alleged invasion of privacy and improper medical practice. According to the lawsuit, Walgreen allowed Eli Lilly access to patient medical records and provided the drug maker with a list of antidepressant users. A prescription for Prozac did not appear in the woman's medical records (California Healthline, 7/8). According to consumer advocacy groups, the case "illustrates the potential dangers of paying pharmacies to market drugs directly to patients" (Chicago Tribune, 7/11). The full article is available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.