First active script list launched in Australia

pharmacist on computer

My Script List provides pharmacies with a complete digital list of a patient’s current prescriptions and repeats

Fred IT Group has launched Australia’s first digital script list, called My Script List, beginning with pharmacies across Tasmania.

My Script List was activated in all Tasmanian pharmacies on Thursday, and is expected to roll out to remaining states and territories over the coming weeks.

It is Australia’s first iteration of a Department of Health conformant Active Script List (ASL), providing an alternative to the token model which launched in May last year.

More than 6.5 million electronic prescriptions were created and 4.2 million dispensed in the first six months since the launch of the token model.

“We think ASL will be the predominant model over time, for convenience and utility particularly for patients,” David Freemantle, General Manager of eHealth at Fred IT Group told AJP.

The token model can become difficult to juggle for patients who are on multiple medications as it generates a separate token for each prescription and repeat, he explained.

Meanwhile My Script List combines the patient’s electronic prescriptions in one digital list.

“The target market is patients for whom pharmacists keep their scripts on file,” said Mr Freemantle. However he hopes that as more patients learn about it, use of My Script List “should become ubiquitous”.

“If your phone becomes flat or lost you can’t access the token, but if [your prescription] is on the My Script List then you can still access it,” he said. “We think it really makes e-scripts make sense.”

Paul Naismith, pharmacist and CEO of the Fred IT Group, added that My Script List will substantially reduce the administrative burden associated with managing and dispensing prescriptions.

“This is extremely important for pharmacies that are supporting patients with multiple prescriptions and chronic health conditions,” said Mr Naismith.

“It means that pharmacists can therefore spend time where they need to – supporting the health care needs of their patients.”

Fred IT Group has been running eight pilot sites for three months, ramping up to 12 sites over the past few weeks.

On Thursday 22 April, Tasmanian pharmacies were the first to receive access to My Script List outside of these pilot sites.

“My Script List has provided us with better visibility of our patients’ current prescriptions,” said Joseph O’Malley, pharmacist and proprietor of Westside Pharmacy in Ulverstone, Tasmania, and PDL Director.

“This helps us to reduce the pressure that patients experience, as they no longer need to worry about remembering their scripts or sorting through tokens on their phone.

“Instead, they simply come in and talk to us and let us manage their prescriptions. My Script List has also removed the need to keep scripts on file, so is much easier to manage than printing and filling paper prescriptions.”

Patients can choose to access My Script List once it becomes available in their state or territory by contacting their pharmacist or GP and providing their consent.

This patient-controlled access can be ongoing or for a short period of time. Once granted access to this list, a pharmacy may dispense the items requested by the patient.

Similarly doctors and third-party intermediaries, with patient consent, can view the active list of scripts. 

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has stated its support for the ASL model, saying it has several benefits over the token model.

“The ASL provides approved healthcare professionals with a shared view of prescriptions available for dispense,” it said in a recent column.

“Clinical decision-making should be more fact-based, leading to a reduction in prescribing and dispensing errors.

“Another key benefit of the ASL is that because no tokens are required, patients can no longer lose their prescriptions,” said the Guild.

“This should lead to a reduction in Government costs from surplus MBS claims for replacement tokens or paper scripts and a reduced risk in prescribing duplication.”

Victoria is heralded as the next in line most likely to receive access, however Mr Freemantle said that Fred IT Group is aiming for a fast rollout with hopes that My Script List will go national over the next weeks. It should be in all remaining states and territories by the end of May.

My Script List was created in partnership between Australia’s two prescription exchange services – eRx Script Exchange and MediSecure – and will be available to all pharmacies across Australia as other dispensing vendors integrate to the platform.

Over the coming month, Fred IT Group is also set to launch WhatsApp access for patients who have a My Script List, with the goal to increase flexibility in how they order and manage prescriptions from their local pharmacy.

It is additionally working with several medication management apps including MedAdvisor, Medmate and myPharmacyLink to allow patients to be able to access and view their My Script List.

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  1. Philip Smith

    So who “signs” the patient up for this?
    Will we have tokens and this running for same patient and not all dispensing systems talking?

    Will we have ASL’s printed out for patients who don’t have technology but signed up for it? But not marching the electronic record?

    Are drs and nurses being trained in this?

    Tokens have lead to more paperwork, emails etc to track that. The simple old script and repeat forms.

    • Paul Sapardanis

      E prescriptions. I’m hearing ads now where you can have your prescription delivered in 60 minutes. How do you know what I am prescribed? E prescription. Just send and we’ll deliver. Why do we need so many pharmacies if all prescriptions are to be delivered? Whole of Melbourne could be serviced by 10 pharmacies or less if that’s the case.

      • Jim Tsaoucis

        here it comes…TeleRx and AmazonRx….ouch

        • Ex-Pharmacist

          Jim & Paul, if that’s true, there will be thousands of Guild members worrying their $M’s of goodwill will be worth $0, as it was in 1990. Pharmacy owners: Get out. Get out now?

  2. Timothy Perry

    Wow! Sounds like a great step towards a simple, accessible accurate prescription and medication record viewable across the patient’s entire healthcare team. Well done Fred-IT!

  3. Karalyn Huxhagen

    As a locum I am still seeing and hearing pharmacy staff persuading customers to take a paper repat rather than the token back to the phone. The phcy staff is not educating customers on the benefit of tokens they are transferring their own bias as to how easy the ‘old way’ is to undo the valueof the token.

    I think, as a profession, we have failed to educate and inform our pharmacy staff on the benefits of digital health.

    the 101 webinars I watched were aimed at pharmacists. How do we inform the rest of pharmacy workforce about the value of digital technology?

    • Aussie

      The problem is that I never received a new token for the repeat. What option do I have rather than requesting a paper script? There is no support line I can contact to fix this problem.

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