House Reps. request HHS briefing on Petya attacks related to drug industry

Top House Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are urging HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, to brief the committee on actions the department has taken to address cyberattacks in the healthcare sector, which they allege could lead to drug shortages.

In their Sept. 20 letter, Reps. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Tim Murphy, R-Pa., expressed concern about the recent Petya malware attacks, which affected operations and distribution at pharmaceutical giant Kenilworth, N.J.-based Merck.

Although there is no evidence the manufacturing disruption at Merck resulted in patient harm, the representatives still said it raised concerns about the drug supply chain. They requested HHS brief the committee on actions the department has taken to understand and respond to the Petya cyberattacks, as well as its "policies, plans and procedures for addressing potential drug shortages or other associated consequences caused by cyber infections."

"Learning from this event will not only benefit the healthcare sector, but also the millions of patients who depend on the availability of its products and services," they wrote.

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