Coding Mistake Makes Walmart Patients' Prescription History Visible Online

Patients who logged into Walmart's online pharmacy service last month may have been able to view other patients' prescription history and some basic personal information because of a software coding error.

Patients who logged into Walmart’s online pharmacy service last month may have been able to view other patients’ prescription history and some basic personal information because of a software coding error.

The error lasted for 72 hours between February 15, 2016, and February 18, 2016, Walmart spokesperson Dan Toporek told Reuters.

“We moved quickly to fix the issue once it was discovered,” he said.

If 2 patients were logged in at the same time within that 72-hour period, they may have been able to see each other’s name, address, date of birth, and prescription history. Other information such as social security numbers, credit or debit card numbers, or health insurance information was not visible, according to Reuters.

Fewer than 5000 patients were affected, which Toporek noted was a small chunk of the number of patients who logged in during the 72-hour period.

Toporek told Reuters that Walmart was contacting patients potentially affected by the coding error and offering identity protection services. However, Reuters reported him saying that Walmart had no reason to believe the details were “inappropriately used” by other patients.