The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted authorisation to eRx Script Exchange to allow it to enter into a contract with MediSecure to facilitate interoperability between the parties’ electronic pharmaceutical prescription exchange systems.
Prescription exchange services enable doctors to lodge an electronic prescription for a patient, which the patient can have downloaded directly by any participating pharmacy.
eRx and MediSecure are currently the only two parties operating prescription exchange services in Australia but their two systems currently do not ‘talk’ to each other.
“Allowing the parties to implement this agreement is likely to lead to greater use of electronic prescriptions, resulting in cost savings and a reduction in prescription transcription errors,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.
The ACCC has granted authorisation until 30 June 2017 by which time an Australian Standard should be in place including technical specifications to ensure interoperability between all prescription exchange systems.
Authorisation provides immunity from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.
More information about this application for authorisation and the granting of authorisation, including the reasons for the ACCC’s decision, will be available at www.accc.gov.au/AuthorisationsRegister/