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Kirk Nahra Discusses Privacy Protections in Updated 21st Century Cures Act

Bloomberg BNA
November 30, 2016

Kirk J. Nahra, chair of Wiley Rein’s Privacy Practice and co-chair of the Health Care Practice, was quoted in a November 29 Bloomberg BNA article regarding the 21st Century Cures Act, a measure intended to speed up the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) process for approving new drugs. A provision from an earlier version of the bill, which has since been stripped out, could have permitted FDA-regulated companies to purchase protected health information (PHI). The sale of such data is currently prohibited under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

“When you’re writing the HIPAA rules, one of the things they’re worried about is drug companies getting data to use for marketing purposes,” Mr. Nahra said. “And drug companies aren’t covered by the HIPAA rules because they’re not covered entities. And this provision would have let them buy PHI from anybody. It would have basically been a loophole removing all of the HIPAA protections for PHI.”

To read the full article, please click here.