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Private E-Scrips to Launch

Dr David More
From a Medical IT Perspective

Issue 76: October 2008
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Editor's Note: Dr David More is recognised as one of the health informatics industry experts and we are pleased to carry his column in i2P.
For this month we have selected his comments in regard to an article by Karen Dearne in the Australian IT online publication. It concerns the Pharmacy Guild and its efforts to monopolise the e-prescription market.
i2P has often commented on this disturbing activity that is designed to feed on the greed of PGA executives, rather than fill any broader vision for e-health.
David More makes a blunt comment, and as he says, " I am vitally interested in making a difference to the quality and safety of Health Care in Australia through the use of information technology.
There is no choice.. it has to be made to work!"
And we add the comment "In an ethical framework", something that the PGA seems to have left behind.

Private e-scrips to launch

Karen Dearne | September 16, 2008

"PHARMACIST Paul Naismith is taking a punt on launching a privately-owned electronic prescribing project, ahead of the release of a KPMG review on options being considered by the federal Government.

Mr Naismith, chief executive of pharmacy IT supplier Fred Health, said improving "basic safety" by reducing medication errors was too important to delay.
Fred Health and the newly established eRX Script Exchange are wholly owned subsidiaries of PCA Nu Systems, in turn controlled by parties associated with the Pharmacy Guild.
A Health Department spokeswoman said a range of approaches to e-prescribing were being explored, and the private proposal supported by the Pharmacy Guild "had been looked at". "The KPMG report is being considered as part of broader activities in progressing e-prescribing within Australia," she said."

Full, in depth, article here:

David More's Comment:
Bluntly there is no way this project should be allowed to proceed.
It is my view the central infrastructure for e-prescribing should be Government controlled and regulated (I have no problem with the service delivery being outsourced).
The service should be run for the benefit of consumers, doctors and pharmacists, not as a profit making project for commercial interests and such vested interests as the Pharmacy Guild.


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