The Federal Department of Health and Ageing has gone to market for a supplier to update the IT systems which run the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) after years of putting up with paper-based and time-consuming processes.
"At present most of the documents used in these processes are
paper-based," the tender documents said. "The circulation and use
of documents is predominately manual as is the evaluation and
assessment of submissions. Communication is undertaken via
telephone, email, letter, fax and there is little electronic
support for the processes."
The goal is to bring the time to list compliant drugs with the
scheme down to one month by aligning IT systems across the whole
pharmaceutical evaluation branch. The PBS, started in 1960, had $7 billion in
expenditures last year.
"PharmCIS will comprise the replacement of disparate data
sources with a relational data store and will include a secure
online user interface and applications facility to support the
business processes associated with evaluation, pricing and listing
of drugs for the PBS," the tender documents said. The system has to
use Oracle 11g as the data store, according to documents.
The system, to reside on the department's infrastructure, was expected to take 14 months to develop, build and implement. The department also put forward the option of buying
support for the systems in a two-year support deal with two
optional extensions. The department hoped to have the contract
signed by April and the transition completed by May 2011.
The vendor would need to work on infrastructure currently being
provided by IBM Global Services to the department. Optus is the
data network provider.