DoHA calls tender for PBS network

The Department of Health and Ageing is calling for tenders for the development of an online network to store documents and enable better workflow management for the listing of approved drugs via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Once developed, the Interactive Communications Facility (ICF) will become a secure portal with the ability to track managerial actions, the modification of data and transmission of information, workflow processes and support both the recommendation and pricing units within the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

The ICF project follows recommendations made by the pPBAC Review (post Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee) in July 2004.

The goal is to cut pharmaceutical approval periods from four months to one, improve processes, strengthen networking capabilities and create a "shared vision between the department and the pharmaceutical industry".

ICF development will be limited to software configuration and workflow engineering.

The new system must be able to support 4000 brand records which have at least one price and submission history record for each year on the scheme, 4000 prescribing rules and restriction records, 1000 conceptual item records, 5000 generic drugs records, 500 note and caution records and 150 manufacturers' records with a cumulative growth rate of 20 percent per annum.

"The system must be able support transactions per annum of 600 pages per cycle of 12 cycles per year with 1000 changes to the schedule (additions, changes, deletions and authorization actions)", according to the documents.

The facility will support two separate business streams, recommendations and pricing. The pricing stream determines the price at which a drug can be listed on the PBS.

Business requirements for the system must be interoperable with Oracle and SAS databases, facilitate ad hoc reporting through an SQL interface, allow access for at least 200 internal and 200 external users and have aligned service levels for system recovery with IBM GSA procedures.

Tenders close September 29, 2006 and the contract is expected to run from January 2007 through to July 2010.

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