A Solicitation of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Contract Proposals

Release Date
August 25th, 2023
Open Date
August 25th, 2023
Due Date(s)
November 14th, 2023
Close Date
November 14th, 2023
Topic No.


Software Solutions: Bridging the Gap between Public Health and Pharmacies


Department of Health and Human ServicesNational Institutes of Health


Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2023


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are seeking proposals for software solutions that bridge the gap between public health and pharmacies. The goal is to enable collaborative care communication, case and disease management, and reporting between health departments and pharmacy practices. The software should allow for real-time detection capabilities, treatment documentation, and the ability to send test results between pharmacists and health departments. Phase I SBIR proposals will be accepted, with a budget of up to $243,500 for up to 6 months. Phase II proposals may receive up to $1,972,828 in funding and have a duration of up to 2 years. The deadline for proposals is November 14, 2023.


Phase I SBIR proposals will be accepted. Fast-Track proposals will not be accepted. Phase I clinical trials will not be accepted. Number of anticipated awards: 2 Budget (total costs): Phase I: up to $243,500 for up to 6 months; Phase II of up to $1,972,828 and a Phase II duration of up to 2 years. PROPOSALS THAT EXCEED THE BUDGET OR PROJECT DURATION LISTED ABOVE MAY NOT BE FUNDED. Background An estimated 13 billion pharmacy visits occur per year, which is more than 10 times the annual number of patient contacts with all other primary care providers combined. Public health partnerships with pharmacies can provide new access points for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV services. More than ever, we saw this need during the COVID-19 pandemic when many public health clinics had to reduce hours or suspend services. In recent years, pharmacy practices have embraced more patient-centered care approaches and trained providers to deliver counseling, point-of-care (POC) or rapid tests, administer injectables, vaccines/immunizations, and offer clinical referrals for a variety of health conditions. Opportunities exist for public health departments to strengthen partnerships with these accessible and trusted health professionals. Pharmacists are taking on a more significant role in delivering sexual health services in conjunction with health departments. For example, local health departments have been funded to partner with local pharmacies to offer expanded STD/HIV services (including PrEP) in their communities. Both entities have expressed a need to have software capabilities that would allow health departments and partnering pharmacies (and potentially patients) to all see testing and treatment info for a particular individual as close to real time as possible. However, there is no interoperable electronic system that enables the pharmacy and health department to securely transmit data and innovation is needed to ensure collaborative care communication, case and disease management, and reporting (among other things) between health departments and pharmacy practices. As part of the Pharmacist eCare Plan Initiative, approximately 20 pharmacy management with embedded clinical documentation systems exist. These software solutions are innovative tools that enable collaborative care communication, case and disease management, treatment, and can support workflows, billing, automation, and compliance. Similar software with real-time detection capabilities has been developed to help monitor prescription drugs for to detect opioid substance misuse and detect outbreaks. Software solutions exist, but enhancements are needed to ensure successful collaboration between the two entities. The software would need to allow for a pharmacist or any provider to be able to document treatment and close the loop. The following are some potential scenarios where this type of collaborative communication would be beneficial:

• Pharmacist should be able to send STI test results to the health department (pharmacist ordered under a collaborative practice agreement (CPA) or standing order) – this would be a scenario where rapid STI POC tests were available at the pharmacy. • Pharmacist and health department are both able to see patient test results from self-collection kit (where the health department is working with 3rd party lab vendor) Pharmacist providing oral or injectable treatment can document that treatment was administered. This could be extended to include expedited partner therapy [EPT] patients, too