Empire Co. tight-lipped as IT problems affect pharmacies at Sobeys and other stores


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HALIFAX — Empire Co. Ltd. remains tight-lipped about computer system issues that are still impeding customers seeking prescriptions at some pharmacies it operates.

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The Nova Scotia-based company issued a brief statement Monday confirming that an “IT systems issue” affecting certain pharmacies has caused “technical difficulties” in filling prescriptions.

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Issues at Empire-operated pharmacies, including Sobeys pharmacies and Lawtons Drugs, were first reported over the weekend, and some locations in Halifax Tuesday have signs posted warning customers of the ongoing technical problem.

Empire did not respond to questions about the cause of the IT problem and has not said when it expects it to be resolved.

Anne Genge, the CEO of Alexio, an Ontario-based cybersecurity company that specializes in health care, said the situation is reminiscent of the cyberattack that targeted Newfoundland and Labrador’s health system last year.

Genge says the scale of Empire’s system outage and the lack of public communication from the company lead her to believe that a cyberattack may be behind the technical problems.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.


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