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Should Walmart be data-mining your Ozempic prescriptions?

Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Last week, Walmart made headlines with a claim that new weight loss drugs might be making people buy less food. Walmart US CEO John Furner told Bloomberg that people taking Wegovy, Ozempic, and similar drugs showed a “slight change” in their purchasing habits: “just less units, slightly less calories.” How does Walmart know this? Because, Bloomberg indicates, it can compare people’s prescription history against their food shopping patterns. It’s the kind of data mining that’s likely possible for any big retail-and-pharmacy operation — and one that raises questions about how private health records should be.

We don’t know the details of Walmart’s research. The company didn’t respond to a request for more information from The Verge, and B…

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