NSA/GCHQ and now Pharma: when you look up a drug they track you

by reestheskin on 14/11/2014

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From an article in this week’s NEJM. I am surprised, but I suppose I shouldn’t be:

Pharmaceutical companies currently spend 25% of their marketing budgets on digital technologies, such as websites and social media.

For example, when physicians use mobile applications to look up clinical information, they generate trackable data that can inform advertising. The best example is Epocrates, a widely used mobile application for physicians that provides information about drug indications, interactions, and insurance coverage. Individual physicians’ search patterns are tracked and used to target “DocAlerts” (often industry-sponsored) that appear on the screen.5

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