Why pharma companies see big bucks in patient data

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are looking to partner with technology companies to use analytics to prove the value of their drugs and possibly find lucrative new uses for their existing products, according to Reuters.

Studying real-world data, instead of just traditional randomized clinical trials, has gained much greater interest in the past few days, particularly for cancer, heart disease and respiratory disorders. Making use of the greater amount of patient data available nowadays—ranging from electronic health records to what’s collected by consumer wearables like Fitbit—also creates concerns that patient privacy may be violated for the sake of pharma’s profits.

“How much of this is really for scientific discovery and how much is it about boosting profits by getting one product used instead of another?” asked Sam Smith, a campaigner for medical data privacy at MedConfidential in the United Kingdom.

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