Tuesday, 01 October 2013 14:30

Telstra finalises pharmacy software company investment

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Telstra has finalised its investment in the Fred IT Group, taking a 50% interest in Australia’s leading provider of IT services and dispensing software to pharmacies.

The investment in the Fred group follows Telstra’s acquisition of healthcare software company DCA eHealth Solutions and more recent investments in electronic health record specialist IPHealth and one of Australia’s leading online health appointment booking companies, Health Engine.

Telstra’s Head of Health, Shane Solomon said the investment was part of Telstra’s ongoing focus on building capability in the health sector.

“Community pharmacies play a vital role in providing services and advice to millions of Australians and Fred IT Group is at the leading edge of companies offering eHealth solutions to the community, GPs and pharmacists.

“We are excited by the opportunities this investment presents and we will work with the Fred IT Group to build on the great foundations they have established.

“For example, eRx Script Exchange, developed by Fred, is Australia’s first and largest national electronic prescriptions exchange and connects more than 15,500 doctors and 3,900 pharmacies to improve patient safety and dispensing efficiency.”

Fred IT Group CEO and pharmacist Paul Naismith said “This strategic partnership with Telstra underpins our commitment to providing IT innovation and leadership for pharmacy and pharmacy customers over the long term.

“It allows us to continue to invest strongly in eHealth and cloud computing which are vital in improving patient health and safety, creating new ways for pharmacy to service its customers and run its business.”

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, which Solomon said had played a key role in the achievement of industry milestones including national eScripts and PBS Online, retains a significant investment in Fred and National Guild President, Kos Sclavos, sees the new partnership with Telstra as opening further opportunities for exploring national eHealth initiatives that can improve access to care.

“Fred IT Group’s partnership with Telstra reflects the health system adapting to meet the needs of a modern connected society. We can now explore opportunities where pharmacists have a role, with other key health professionals, in improving health throughout the community.

“This partnership acknowledges the importance of pharmacists in the future of health, across the spectrum of medicine management and compliance and full health records, including the cornerstone of effective health records, the medication history,” Sclavos said.

Sclavos said the guild had also signed a separate Memorandum of Understanding with Telstra to identify opportunities to work together to build on the “vital role community pharmacies play in the everyday lives of Australians.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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