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U.S. prescription drug market in disarray as ransomware gang attacks

Washington Post via MSN: “A ransomware gang once thought to have been crippled by law enforcement has snarled prescription processing for millions of Americans over the past week, forcing some to choose between paying prices hundreds or thousands of dollars above their usual insurance-adjusted rates or going without lifesaving medicine. Insurance giant UnitedHealthcare Group said the hackers struck its Change Health business unit, which routes prescription claims from pharmacies to companies that determine whether patients are covered by insurance and what they should pay. The hackers stole data about patients, encrypted company files and demanded money to unlock them, prompting the company to shut down most of its network as it worked to recover. Change Health and a rival, CoverMyMeds, are the two biggest players in the so-called switch business, charging pharmacies a small fee for funneling claims to insurers. “When one of them goes down, obviously it’s a major problem,” said Patrick Berryman, a senior vice president at the National Community Pharmacists Association. A notorious Russian-speaking ransomware ring known as ALPHV claimed responsibility for the Feb. 21 breach, capping a string of attacks that included several hospitals…”

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