“Atos Origin Starts Roll-Out of ePharmacy Service across Scotland”

London, 23 November 2005

Atos Origin, a leading IT services company, today announced that it has commenced roll out of an ePharmacy Service across Scotland, to the 1150 community pharmacies in all 15 NHS Boards.

The ePharmacy Service will replace what is currently a 100% paper based service with an electronic solution that will support pharmacists in delivering pharmaceutical care services which will both improve patient care and provide faster and more efficient processing of prescriptions.

As NHSScotland's IT partner, Atos Origin, in partnership with PA consulting and NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), designed, built and manages the delivery of the ePharmacy infrastructure, which will connect general practitioners and community pharmacists to the central message store and to the registration and payment systems. In addition, Atos Origin will work with NSS to manage the transition from a development programme into a fully operational service, including future proofing.

The roll-out of ePharmacy will be in three phases. Phase one, now underway, is the Minor Ailment Service covering the treatment of self-limiting common clinical conditions and ailments. It allows registered patients to receive prescribed and dispensed items direct from the pharmacist without the need for a visit to the doctor. The second phase is the Acute Medication Service covering pharmaceutical care of patients with acute conditions and the third phase is the Chronic Medication Service covering pharmaceutical care of long-term conditions. In this phase the GP is responsible for the initial prescription and the pharmacist for on-going management of that patient's care for up to 12 months.

The ePharmacy service supports the introduction of the new community pharmacy contract in Scotland and is a key enabler for the Scottish Executive's strategy for pharmaceutical care, ‘The Right Medicine'. ePharmacy enables the electronic transfer of prescriptions from the doctor's surgery to the pharmacy and then an electronic claim from the pharmacy to the Practitioner Services payment systems, once the prescriptions have been dispensed.

A Scottish Executive spokesperson said: “We very much welcome the progress being made by the ePharmacy Programme technical team, staff at NHS National Services Scotland and all of the Pharmacy System Suppliers in developing the IT functionality required to underpin the new community pharmacy contract. The progress on eMAS will initially support those community pharmacists providing the Minor Ailment Service to patients in Ayrshire & Arran and Tayside - but the benefits will eventually be Scotland wide.”

Dave Green, programme manager, Atos Origin said: “The significance of this stage is that we now have an infrastructure in place onto which we can deliver all the technology support for ePharmacy.”

Derek Ward, executive vice president, UK Markets and Accounts, Atos Origin said: “The health sector is a key focus for Atos Origin and this contract highlights the company's experience and expertise in delivering IT solutions that truly benefit patients while delivering significant efficiencies for governments.”

The ePharmacy delivery infrastructure is compatible with all pharmacy software systems supporting the ePharmacy delivery programme including the current implementation of eMAS via CegedimRX, Enigma Health and AAH pharmacy systems.

Under a contract awarded in 1999 and extended in 2004, Atos Origin is NHSScotland's IT partner through to 2007. Atos Origin is responsible for managing the national IT infrastructure and providing systems integration services to support NHSScotland's 150,000 employees in providing top quality healthcare to the people of Scotland.

About Atos Origin
Atos Origin is an international information technology services company. Its business is turning client vision into results through the application of consulting, systems integration and managed operations. The company's annual revenues are more than EUR 5 billion and it employs over 46,000 people in 40 countries. Atos Origin is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic Games and has a client base of international blue-chip companies across all sectors. Atos Origin is quoted on the Paris Eurolist Market and trades as Atos Origin, AtosEuronext, Atos Worldline and Atos Consulting.

For further information, contact:
Caroline Crouch
Atos Origin
Tel: +44 20 7830 4233
Email: caroline.crouch@atosorigin.com