Friday, November 7, 2008

Prescription benefits company threatened with data leak

Express Scripts said Thursday it has received a letter demanding money from the company under the threat of exposing records of millions of patients.

The threat was made in an anonymous letter that the company turned over to federal investigators. The letter, received in early October, included personal information on 75 people covered by Express Scripts, including birth dates, social security numbers and prescription information.

Express manages prescription benefits for roughly 50 million people through thousands of clients, including health insurers, employers and union-sponsored plans.

A company spokesman said Express waited to reveal the breach "to give the investigation time to proceed and get under way."

"We believe informing the public now was the appropriate time to do so under the circumstances," said spokesman Steve Littlejohn.

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