Chemist + Druggist is part of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC’s registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By


Healthcare data breaches 'most likely' to occur in pharmacy

Personal medical information is "most likely" to be stolen from pharmacy systems, new findings have suggested.

According to a global study by consultancy company Accenture – conducted between November 2016 and January 2017 – 13% of 1,000 survey respondents in England have had "their personal medical information stolen from technology systems".

Thirty-five per cent of these breaches occurred in pharmacies, followed by 29% in hospitals, 21% in urgent care clinics, 19% in "physicians' offices" and 14% in "retail clinics", the study found.

The researchers defined a breach as “any scenario where your healthcare data might be accessed, viewed or manipulated by someone who is not authorised to view it”.

In 82% of all reported cases, the medical and personal information was used for “fraudulent activities”, including “fraudulently filling prescriptions” (42%), "fraudulently receiving medical care" (35%), "fraudulently billing for care" (25%), and “accessing or changing medical records” (24%), said Accenture (see their infographic below).

Source: Accenture’s 2017 Healthcare Cybersecurity and Digital Trust Research

Pharmacy still trusted

Despite the number of incidents reported, 77% of consumers still trust their pharmacy to keep their healthcare data secure, the survey revealed.

Of the consumers in England who experienced a breach, 36% discovered the breach themselves, or noted an error on their health records or credit card statement. Thirty-one per cent were proactively notified either by the organisation where the incident occurred, or by a government agency, and 34% learned about the breach “passively” – for example in the news or via a collection letter for services not received.

Thirteen per cent of consumers in England changed healthcare providers after experiencing a data breach, the report's authors added.

Aimie Chapple, Accenture's managing director of health practice and client innovation in the UK and Ireland, said: “Health organisations must monitor patient information more carefully and remain transparent with those affected in the event of a breach, to swiftly resolve the issue without losing consumers to competitors.”

Is your pharmacy prepared to fend off cyber crime? Get top tips in C+D's latest feature here

Has your pharmacy IT system ever been breached?

Related Content


Pharmacy Dispenser/ Technician
Bethnal Green North, London
Salary: Up to £30,000

Apply Now



Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts