Cyberattack affects ability of some pharmacies to fill prescriptions

By Kimberly Wright – Fox 5 Las Vegas

FILE - Some pharmacies are being affected by a cyberattack..

(Gray News) – Some pharmacies across the country are having trouble processing some prescriptions because of a cyberattack.

UnitedHealth Group disclosed the cyberattack in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

The company says “a suspected nation-state associated cyber security threat actor” gained access to its Change Healthcare information technology systems, which processes insurance for prescriptions for tens of thousands of pharmacies nationwide.

UnitedHealth says it became aware of the cyberattack Wednesday and expected it to last through at least Thursday.

The company said it has isolated the attack and is working to restore its systems. Law enforcement has also been notified.

“Once we became aware of the outside threat, in the interest of protecting our partners and patients, we took immediate action to disconnect our systems to prevent further impact. At this time, we believe the issue is specific to Change Healthcare and all other systems across UnitedHealth Group are operational,” the company said in a status update.

Pharmacy giant CVS said in a statement that they are aware of the situation “that is impacting certain CVS Health business operations, as well as the operations of other companies nationally. There is no indication that CVS Health’s systems have been compromised.”

CVS said they have plans in place to minimize disruptions and apologized for any inconvenience. “We’re committed to ensuring access to care as we navigate through this interruption,” the company said.

A spokesperson from Walgreens said there was minimal impact to its pharmacy operations.

The issue “has affected military clinics and hospitals worldwide,” according to a statement from the Defense Health Agency.

“Military clinics and hospitals will provide outpatient prescriptions through a manual procedure until this issue is resolved,” the statement said. “Military pharmacies will give priority to urgent prescriptions followed by routine prescriptions. Each military hospital and clinic will continue to offer pharmacy operations based on their local manning and resources.”

Companies such as GoodRx were among those reporting impacts on social media.

“We apologize for any outages you have been experiencing while at the pharmacy. Unfortunately, the issue is an external one impacting both GoodRx and a multitude of providers,” GoodRx said.

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