The Legality of Cloud Database from Declaration Data of National Health Insurance Pharmaceutical Products (PharmaCloud System)
Since July 2013, the National Health Insurance (NHI) administration has constructed a “PharmaCloud System,” a patient-centered cloud database for NHI drug declaration. The system provides NHI Contracted Healthcare Providers (doctors and pharmacists) an instant record check of every patient’s drug taking history. The NHI claimed that the inquiry system is able to “prevent repeated prescription” and “enhance safety and quality of drug use.” However, many medical and legal professionals raised questions about the system for its severe violation of Personal Data Protection Act. The new amendment of Personal Data Protection Act was issued and put into force by the Executive Yuan on March 15, 2016. Since then, any patient’s medical history (including drug history) has belonged to a category of “identifiable or sensitive personal information” that can not be collected, processed or used without authorization. Although actions had been taken to fix the problem, questions regarding the legality of cloud database finally forced NHI administration to make some changes.