German pharmaceutical data centers, which settle accounts between insurance companies and pharmacies, further refine and sell data on physician prescriptions to medical research and drug companies, and at least one center is doing so in a manner that compromises the confidentiality of doctors and patients, alleged the German news magazine Der Spiegel. The news magazine found that one center, the VSA data center, does not anonymize data but rather assigns patients a permanent code. "The data that is generated is encrypted in such a way that the prescription behavior of the doctor or the patient can't be tracked," said Thomas Kranig, president of the Bavarian Data Protection Agency, which supervises VSA.

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