Widespread Cyberattack Takes Down Pharmacies across America

Pharmacies across America are suffering widespread outages after being hit with a major cyberattack, according to reports.

Nationwide pharmacies are reportedly experiencing outages due to an “outside threat.”

Change Healthcare, one of the country’s largest healthcare technology companies reported its network was hit by a cybersecurity attack on Wednesday.

The statement indicated the disruption is expected to last at least through the day.

The Tennessee-based company reported it was facing “enterprise-wide connectivity issues that started at 5 a.m. EST.”

Systems had to be disconnected immediately, they explained.

Experts are working to address the cyber security issue, according to the company.

They noted that the issue was just impacting Change Healthcare and all other systems across UnitedHealth Group are operational.

Change Healthcare handles orders and patient payments throughout the nation.

The disruption is also impacting filing claims for a prescription, according to a pharmacy in New Bern, North Carolina.

Customers at pharmacies are being asked to pay in cash, according to WCTI, which received calls from its viewers.

The cyberattack, which was first detected on the company’s East Coast network early Wednesday morning, has caused enterprise-wide connectivity issues.

It has severely disrupted the usual operations of local pharmacies.

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These delays in prescription processing are not just inconveniences; they represent a direct impact on patient care and access to necessary medications.

Change Healthcare, which merged with Optum, a healthcare services giant, in 2022, has been proactive in communicating about the incident.

In an update at 11 am EST, Change Healthcare wrote that it is still “experiencing a cyber security issue, and our experts are working to address the matter.

“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 disruption is expected to last at least through the day.

“We will provide updates as more information becomes available.”

This afternoon, Change Healthcare also disclosed that the disruption was caused by an outside threat and that it had disconnected its systems to contain the incident, Security Week reported.

While Change Healthcare did not say what type of cyberattack it fell victim to, ransomware might have been involved, given that the typical response to such an attack is to disconnect the affected systems from the network.

In 2022, Change Healthcare merged with Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, creating one of the largest healthcare technology companies in the US.

The organization handles payment processes for healthcare providers and payers across the country.

The company has access to the medical records of roughly one-third of US patients, handling billions of healthcare transactions per year, and the disruption has had a significant impact on the healthcare system, with some pharmacies being unable to process prescriptions.

“Due to a nationwide outage from the largest prescription processor in North America, we are currently unable to process prescriptions at any of our four locations of Scheurer Family Pharmacy,” Scheurer Health announced.

“We are still able to accept prescriptions, but unable to process them through your insurance.”

The news follows reports of several major U.S. cities suffering cell service blackouts from multiple networks on Thursday.

As Slay News reported, the cell service outages also prompted fears of a coordinated cyberattack.

The issue has left AT&T iPhone users stuck in SOS mode, meaning that users can only make calls to emergency services.

Some users on X have suggested that their entire cities are without service.

Service disruptions have been reported in New York, Boston, Washington, Montreal, Honolulu, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco.

READ MORE – Major Cell Service Blackouts from Multiple Carriers Reported across America

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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