article in the Guardian
"The privacy of millions of NHS patients will be critically undermined by a government plan to let medical researchers have access to personal files, the health information watchdog told the Guardian last night.
The prime minister and Department of Health want to give Britain's research institutes an advantage against overseas competitors by opening up more than 50m records, to identify patients who might be willing to take part in trials of new drugs and treatments."
It can be no part of the remit of the NHS or the Department of Health to give commercial advantage to Britain's drug companies. (Let's call a spade a spade: these are commercially-oriented drug companies surely, not research institutes.) This idea is disgraceful and should be scrapped.