Your Prescriptions and Your Privacy
Most of us have old bottles of prescription medications sitting in the medicine cabinet or a drawer somewhere. We tend to focus on safely destroying the drugs, but it’s just as important to destroy the labels on the prescription bottles or packaging before they end up in the recycling bin.
Identity theft from prescription bottles
A prescription bottle label includes a wealth of personal information:
- your name
- your doctor’s name and phone number
- the drug name
- the prescription number
- the pharmacy name and phone number
- whether there are any remaining reﬁlls.
Unused or leftover medication thrown in the trash can be retrieved and used for prescription fraud or worse.
Protect your identity and privacy of health information
Armed with information from pharmaceutical bottles or packaging, fraudsters can use social media to hunt for missing details, such your birthday. It’s easy, and then they can:
- call in a reﬁll to the pharmacy and pick it up without you knowing
- contact your doctor’s ofﬁce and request a new prescription be sent to a different pharmacy
- assume your identity and impersonate you with the intent to commit more serious medical fraud.
Even without the intent of committing fraud, your privacy is at risk. Anyone sorting through your recycling or trash could easily ﬁgure out what medical conditions you or someone in your family has, based on what types of medicines you take.
Protecting yourself from prescription fraud
To keep your personal health information safe, America’s FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends removing all information on the prescription label before throwing the packaging away.
But it’s difficult to destroy pharmacy data:
- Labels are notoriously hard to remove.
- Inking out confidential information isn’t a very effective method.
- You might have to soak the bottle in hot water to scrape the label off, or use a blade or sharp knife to scratch it off.
- Once you remove the label, you still have to shred it.
All that effort is a necessary precaution, but it certainly is a hassle. According to a study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, Americans ﬁlled a record 4.3 billion prescriptions in 2014. That is a lot of broken ﬁngernails and time spent peeling labels off bottles!
Introducing the self-shredding label
The Invaluable Inventions design for a Self-Shredding Label provides pharmacies with a simple label that makes it easy to destroy personal information. Just by the pull of a thread, data is destroyed, when the time comes to throw that bottle or box or tube away.
The Self-Shredding Label is secure, cost-effective and exceeds HIPAA and FACTA compliance for the destruction of confidential information.
If you know anyone you think might be interested in this innovative product, I’d love an introduction, feel free to contact me