FDA Seeks Input On The Future Format of the National Drug Code

Last week the FDA published a notice of a public hearing and request for comments regarding the impact of any future changes made to the length and format of the National Drug Code (NDC).  The current format of the NDC has been around since the early 1970s (see “Anatomy Of The National Drug Code”).  It has served the FDA, healthcare professionals and patients well since that time, but it is showing its age.  I call its affliction, “Identifier Failure” and I point out all of the symptoms for the aging NDC system in my essay “NDC Nearing Its End, Afflicted by ‘Identifier Failure’”.

It appears that the FDA recognizes these problems Continue reading FDA Seeks Input On The Future Format of the National Drug Code

Aggregation: The Achilles’ Heel of Pharma Supply Chain Operation Under A Serialization Regulation

View of a layer of drug cartons inside a case. Photo courtesy of Omega Design. Click image to enlarge.

Neither the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) in the United States, nor the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) in the European Union explicitly mandates the capture or use of aggregation data (see “Aggregation –> Chargeback Accuracy –> ROI” and “EU FMD: Aggregation Is Not Mandated, But It Will Be Necessary“).   In this instance, “aggregation data” is data that documents the serialized packaging containment hierarchy of drug products—also known as “parent-child relationships”.  It is well established that companies are not required by law to capture it, but for the smooth operation of pharma supply chains under a serialization, tracing and/or verification regulation, high quality aggregation data will be necessary.  But there are warning signs that a significant percentage of drug manufacturers are not going to meet that bar by the deadlines. Continue reading Aggregation: The Achilles’ Heel of Pharma Supply Chain Operation Under A Serialization Regulation

Personalized Medicines In A Serialized World

3d render of T cells attacking cancer cells

The era of personalized medicines has begun.  These are medicines that are tailored specifically for a single patient, using that patient’s specific DNA or other blood characteristic as a guide or actual source component.  The new chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CAR-T) is an exciting example.  It results in the conversion of a patient’s own T-cells into cells that are able to recognize the specific type of cancer cells that the patient has, and thus able to attack them in the same way that normal T-cells attack normal infectious cells.  In short, it’s a way of manipulating a person’s own immune system to attack cancer cells that it would normally be blind to.  When it works, the results can be breathtaking.  The question is, how are these drugs treated under today’s serialization and tracing regulations?  Let’s take a look. Continue reading Personalized Medicines In A Serialized World

New Direction For Pharma Serialization In The Russian Federation

Click image to enlarge. Image from www.GreenwichMeanTime.com

Over the last 18 months or so, the Ministry of Health in the Russian Federation has been conducting a pilot to learn what works and what doesn’t work for pharma serialization and tracing (see “Russia Begins Its Pharma Supply Chain Pilot” and “The Russia Serialization Pilot Guideline”).  They were due to publish a report on their findings in February of this year, but we are still watching for that.  As we’ve learned over the years, it’s not uncommon for governments to miss their deadlines, at the same time, making tough statements about the industry needing to meet theirs, followed by caving on those deadlines too (See US, China, Brazil, US, India, Pakistan…).  That pattern is repeating in Russia. Continue reading New Direction For Pharma Serialization In The Russian Federation

HDA Responds To FDA Waivers, Exceptions, Exemptions Draft Guidance

Unlike the implication of this drawing, FDA does hear and care about submitted comments.

The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) recently posted their response to the latest draft Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) guidance published by the FDA.  That draft guidance explains how, when and why companies in the US pharma supply chain can apply for waivers, exemptions and exceptions to provisions in the DSCSA (see “FDA Draft Guidance: How To Apply For A Waiver, Exception or Exemption”).  As usual, the HDA took close to the full sixty day comment period to respond.  The comment period closed last Monday. Continue reading HDA Responds To FDA Waivers, Exceptions, Exemptions Draft Guidance

Newly Published Material From HDA and C4SCS

I was on vacation last week and only arrived home Sunday evening so I didn’t have time to write an essay for Monday, but this is Tuesday!  Near the end of last month there was a spike in the number of things that need to be covered in RxTrace.  Two of them are important things from HDA and the Center For Supply Chain Studies.  I’ve been waiting for both for months, and here they are. Continue reading Newly Published Material From HDA and C4SCS

DSCSA Makes M&A More Complex/Risky/Costly

When companies are thinking about merging or acquiring (M&A) other companies, or product lines from other companies, they typically engage in a process known as “due diligence” to discover any hidden risks that might come along with the action.  In the pharma industry the risks are huge, so this activity is intense and costly.  Discovery of larger risks than expected can result in the abandonment of the M&A plan, or can result in the adjustment of the price—usually downward.  Now that pharma supply chain companies in the US are required to retain detailed transaction information about every purchase and sale of prescription drugs for six years, and must respond to verification requests over the life of the product, due diligence is now more complex and risky, and so it is more important than ever. Continue reading DSCSA Makes M&A More Complex/Risky/Costly

DISCLAIMER: RxTrace contains some of the personal thoughts, ideas and opinions of Dirk Rodgers. The material contained in RxTrace is not legal advice. Dirk Rodgers is not a lawyer.
The reader must make their own decisions about the accuracy of the opinions expressed in RxTrace. Readers are encouraged to consult their own legal counsel
and trading partners before taking any actions based on information found in RxTrace. RxTrace is not a vehicle for communicating
the positions of any company, organization or individual other than Dirk Rodgers.

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