Pharmacists to play key role in dark-web probe

Pharmacists will play a key role in an urgent review the Medicare number lookup system following news that Australians’ details are for sale on the so-called dark web.

It’s believed hackers accessed the details through the Health Professional Online Services (HPOS) portal rather than by hacking the Department of Human Services computer system.

While the focus has been on the role of the AMA and RACGP in the review, a department spokesperson confirmed the pharmacy sector would be involved.

“The review has just been announced and pharmacy, as a key member of the health community, will be engaged as a stakeholder as part of the review”.

The HPOS portal is accessed 45,000 times a day and allows health professionals to access a patient’s Medicare number when they have forgotten their Medicare card.

Its primary purpose is to allow patients to access urgent medical