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Cyberattack prevents thousands from accessing medications

Cyberattack prevents thousands from accessing medications
Cyberattack prevents thousands from accessing medications 02:11

DALLAS - A cyberattack targeting healthcare providers caused prescription delays for thousands needing to access their medicines.

Providing the medicines people need daily, pharmacist Amrish Patel at Dallas' Dougherty's Pharmacy depends on customers to have two things: a prescription and, hopefully, insurance.

For the past week, a wide-reaching cyber attack held the health insurance data of thousands hostage.

"We've seen a lot of claims coming through as a rejected claim where obviously insurance providers are not being able to pay because of this attack," said Patel.  "Elderly patients who have a fixed income and they're trying to get their medicine. You know, unfortunately, there's no way around it at this point."

"I fell ill Saturday," Alisa Boulom said. "I went to urgent care, gave me a prescription and sent to my pharmacy."

Boulom found herself caught in the middle of what is described as a ransomware attack targeting large healthcare insurance providers like United Health Care.

Boulom tried to get her medicine from any pharmacy that could confirm her coverage. She didn't know hackers had blocked that data.

It took hours before finally finding a pharmacy.

"I couldn't imagine anyone else that needs urgent medicine and they are hung up by this process," Boulom said.

The delays and disruptions for filling prescriptions have slowed, but not stopped Patel says.  

"Just today I've probably seen about anywhere from 15 to 20 patients affected by it," said Patel.

Cyber hackers have blocked coverage confirmations in some cases. The folks at Daugherty are working to get around those obstacles- for the benefit of those in need. 

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