Telstra invests in pharmacy health software company, Fred IT Group

Media Release, 01 October 2013

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

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,” Mr Solomon said.

Mr Solomon said this investment followed Telstra’s acquisition of healthcare software company DCA eHealth Solutions and recent investments in electronic health record specialist IPHealth and one of Australia’s leading online health appointment booking companies, Health Engine.

“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,” Mr Solomon said.

“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,” Mr Naismith said.

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

National Guild President Kos Sclavos said: “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,” Mr Sclavos said.

The Guild has 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.

About Fred IT Group

Fred’s IT solutions for pharmacies include solutions such as Fred Dispense, Fred Office and Fred Net broadband, a reseller broadband solution. Fred IT has a customer base of more than 3,000 pharmacy customers across the combination of Fred’s IT pharmacy solutions. The eRx Script Exchange network allows Fred to advance medication focused eHealth initiatives to lower risk and improve patients’ medication outcomes.