News and Commentary

Drugstore Info Could Be Used To Thwart Terror


Various sections of the health care industry are feeling their way toward their roles in a nation at war against terrorism.

The Wall Street Journal reports, for instance, that the drugstore industry has a powerful database that could provide important information. The paper notes that drugstore chains have sophisticated technology that allows the monitoring of sales of aspirin, cough drops, and diarrhea medicine — information that health officials "need for early detection of an outbreak."

But for such information to be helpful to the government, she says, health officials would have to build a network to receive data from drugstores, as well as supermarkets and mass merchandisers.

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