Electronic patient records in doctors’ offices across the country are being used by brand name drug companies looking to muscle market share away from generic competitors, a Star investigation has found.
Concerned physicians say a clinical tool they use to write prescriptions and care for patients is being co-opted, and they fear health records are being tapped so drug companies can increase profits.
In the battle for pharmaceutical dominance, this new tactic, deployed in software used by doctors, has allowed brand-name companies to capitalize on the moment a prescription is written.
Here’s how it works:
The patient records are found in EMRs, or electronic medical record software, owned by Telus Health, a subsidiary of the telecom giant. The software is used by thousands of Canadian doctors to take notes during patient visits and to create a prescription to be filled by the patient’s pharmacy.