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Two trusts suspend Theriak trials

15 February 2012   Jon Hoeksma

Two NHS pilot sites for a new e-prescribing system have had to suspend their trials because Theriak ehf, the Icelandic company behind the software, has been placed in administration.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have suspended trials of Theriak e-prescribing and medicines management three years after they began.

There is now an uncertain future for the software, which is offered by CIS Oncology in the UK.

Belfast-based CIS Oncology, which has more than 100 NHS customers using its well-regarded ChemoCare oncology e-prescribing system, says it hopes to buy the software assets from administrators and then re-start the NHS trials.

Existing ChemoCare customers are unaffected. Tony Pegg, chief executive of CIS Oncology, told eHealth Insider that Theriak was a wholly separate company, the collapse of which did not jeopardise his company.

“We are not in any financial difficulties and are entirely separate from Theriak, with whom we had an agreement to market their product in the UK.”

Pegg said his priority was to reassure customers, to support the two trusts that were trialling the product, and to enable them to resume their trials in the near future, if possible.

“We are talking to the administrators about purchasing the software assets. We will then hopefully be able to try to implement Theriak in the UK. One possibility is that we could partner with a third party.”

Pegg added that there had been no choice about suspending the trials. “We haven’t got access to the code and it’s unsupported.”

CIS Oncology has spent almost four years working with NHS Connecting for Health and the two pilot trusts in evaluating the e-prescribing software for introduction to the NHS. The product is already in use in Holland and Scandinavia.

Dr Steven Dean, intensive care consultant and lead clinician on the e-prescribing trial at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, told EHI: “We’re very disappointed as we have been working with CIS Oncology for some time.

“We use the chemotherapy product, which works very well. We were just at the point we could see the product we wanted.”

Asked why the trust had chosen to anglicise a product rather than go with one already in the market, Dr Dean said: “We already had a good relationship with CIS Oncology, who wanted a partner to introduce Theriak into the UK.

"We saw that as an opportunity to get something more tailored to our needs.”

Dr Dean said that his trust will continue to monitor the situation. “It’s still one of our key goals to introduce e-prescribing in Leeds. This is a bit of a set-back for us. We will have to see what situation is when the dust settles.”

He added: “I’ve seen a lot of e-prescribing products and the actual interface and the way the system worked was very appealing. You could see the potential in there.”

CIS Oncology brought Theriak to the UK following a national e-prescribing benchmarking process that the company undertook with CfH, the agency then in charge of NHS IT.

Following CfH feedback, the company spent a year on further product development, after which it was able to approach Leeds as its first UK site. The trust signed a contract with the company at the end of December 2009.


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Last updated: 14 February 2012 17:34

© 2012 EHealth Media.


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How to be second if there is no first!

layton 127 weeks ago

'Do NOT buy a system that isn't currently in live use in the UK ' - great. As an innovative supplier, assuming that nobody will buy a system that is not in live use, where does that leave us? In fact - how would any product ever make it to the market? I suppose we could give it away and hope the competition authorities would not be on our backs. Or we could . . . well what exactly?


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6 Months Really!

Groundhog Day 127 weeks ago

With wishing to contradict the previous poster but in my 9 years of healthcare IT I have yet to see a NHS trust have the resources to configure, test and implement a system within 6 months.

It is however throw away lines like '6 months...live use' that set unrealistic expectations within the clinical fraternity.

Perhaps if we had a standardised healthcare model throughout the UK, such aspirations wouldn't be so far fetched!


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Configuring, testing and installing EPMA

ehealthsolutions 127 weeks ago

An acute care EPMA system shouldn't take more than 6 months to configure, test and install to live use. Any Trusts out there looking to procure an EPMA solution should make this one of the first questions to their prospective suppliers.

Do NOT buy a system that isn't currently in live use in the UK - you will be waiting for ever...


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Quality, Time and Resources - or lack of

george385 127 weeks ago

In my 29 years of implementing clinical IT systems (including numerous "EPMA" systems) - I've never come across a successful implementation of EPMA system into the acute sector in such small timescales.

You're talking about installing systems into large organisations - with staff numbers in the 5,000+ in some places - who will all require training.

If time is going to be 6months then there must be a huge resource to support the project (and where in the NHS does that happen?) - or else quality will suffer (and risk of harming patients reintroduced)?

Just how do you arrive at 6months for these sorts of high risk projects?


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CFH ePrescribing benchmarking

KitWL 127 weeks ago

For the record, the CFH benchmarking included all the ePrescribing systems listed in the ASCC procurement framework, CIS / Theriak among others. The results of the benchmarking are available to NHS staff, here: http://www.connectingforhealth.nhs.uk/systemsandservices/eprescribing (follow the link to Systems Evaluation and Selection). All the participating suppliers received feedback and advice on improving their systems...


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