A software system failure in the pharmacy supply chain could cost tens of thousands of dollars in lost sales, according to a report from the Canadian Pharmacists Association.
A study released Wednesday found the loss of thousands and millions of dollars for the pharmacy industry has already cost the Canadian pharmacy industry $4.5 billion, and more than $2.5 million a day in lost revenue.
The loss of billions of dollars was not contained to just one incident, however.
In an incident reported in December 2017, a pharmacy in Toronto that used the new digital pharmacy application was hacked by a third party.
It could have impacted the quality of the data used to administer the program.
According to the report, it could have had a significant impact on the supply chain of the drug supply chain and could have contributed to a higher risk of errors in the supply of medication.
“A cyber attack on a pharmacy system is not just a matter of cyber security,” said Dan Bevan, President and CEO of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association.
“It is a matter about supply chain security.”
Bevan added that “there is a lot of data that has been stolen” from the supply chains of pharmacists and other medical professionals.
The report is the result of an investigation by the Canadian Medical Association.
It also recommends that the province and federal governments “work collaboratively” to address the issues identified in the report.
“There is a lack of coordination and cooperation among health authorities in terms of sharing information about what has happened and how,” said the report’s author, Professor David McInnis.
“We do not have the tools to be able to do that.”
The Canadian Pharmacy Association released a statement Wednesday to CBC News.
The organization said it is “committed to helping pharmacy supply chains protect themselves against cyber attacks.”
It said it believes that “health authorities should take steps to protect against future cyber threats, and that includes the sharing of information about potential cyber threats and how to mitigate them.”
The association said it also is concerned about “potential security breaches of pharmacy systems,” and how those have affected pharmacies.
In 2017, the pharmacy trade association said that it was the first major Canadian company to publicly admit to the possibility of an intrusion into its network, which could have cost thousands of customers their medication.
The association has since launched a series of security updates to address that issue.
The Canadian Pharmaceutical Association said it has a range of products and services to help support pharmacy supply networks.
The pharmacy association is the largest trade association representing the health-care sector.