In the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain this question becomes, should regulators—state legislatures, state Boards of Pharmacies, Congress or the FDA—mandate specific technology for serialization, ePedigree and other regulations? This question arises whenever a new regulation is considered by any of these bodies or agencies. It’s an important question now that the FDA is considering standards for ePedigree, Track & Trace and related things and I think there are some natural conclusions that can be drawn from past examples that lead to a potential answer. Let’s review the history first.
EXAMPLE: EXISTING ePEDIGREE LAWS
The language of the U.S. Prescription Drug Marketing Act (PDMA) specified the kind of data that must be in a compliant pedigree but it did not identify any particular technology to carry that information. Of course, compared with today, what kind of technology was available back in 1987 when the PDMA was first introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives? Is it a paper pedigree? Can it be electronic? What is the format? Can GS1’s Drug Pedigree Messaging Standard (DPMS) be used to comply? Continue reading Should Regulations Dictate Technology?
Last Thursday a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators and Representatives jointly introduced a bicameral bill that would significantly increase the criminal penalties for drug counterfeiting to as much as 20 years in prison, as reported by Phil Taylor in SecuringPharma (see the article for the details). The house bill is called H. R. 3468, The Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act. The group of legislators include U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Representatives Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Linda Sánchez (D-CA). Not surprisingly the responses from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and Pfizer were swift and supportive.
Raising the penalties for counterfeiting drugs to the point where they adequately reflect the widespread harm they can cause the public is a very good thing. It should have the effect of making people think twice about selling counterfeit drugs to Americans through the internet or attempting to introduce them into the legitimate supply chain (brick-and-mortar and legitimate internet pharmacies). It may even cause more people in the legitimate supply chain to Continue reading STEP #1: Raise Penalties For Drug Crimes To Reflect The Widespread Harm They Can Inflict
There are more than one reasons why you shouldn’t expect to use GS1’s EPCIS by itself to comply with the California pedigree law. Part 1 of this series showed that the traditional distributed network of EPCIS repositories in the U.S. pharma supply chain doesn’t work. But that analysis assumed the use of the “vanilla” EPCIS standard, without the use of any “extensions”. That’s not really the way GS1 intended EPCIS to be used. In this and future essays of this series I will explore some of the approaches that make full use of the extensibility that is built into the standard.
In this Part of the series I want to take a closer look at the work of the Network Centric ePedigree work group of the GS1 Healthcare Traceability group. I am one of the leaders of that group along with Dr. Mark Harrison of the Cambridge University AutoId Lab, Dr. Ken Traub, Independent Consultant, and Gena Morgan of GS1, along with strong contributions from Janice Kite of GS1 and Dr. Dale Moberg of Axway. The larger group consists of people who work for companies in the pharmaceutical supply chain, GS1, and solution providers from around the globe, although I think the majority are from the U.S.
The NCeP group published a very interesting recording of a presentation that explains the details of their work. It is called “NCeP – Technical Analysis Sub-Group, Event Based Pedigree”. The purpose of this recording is to help people outside of the close-knit NCeP group to learn about the pedigree models developed there, evaluate them and provide feedback to the group about which model(s) should be Continue reading Why GS1 EPCIS Alone Won’t Work For California Pedigree, Part 2
I attended the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) Interchange 2011 conference on October 27 in Washington DC. (I’ll cover that event more fully in a future essay.) For me, the event couldn’t have been better, but I measure events like this perhaps a little differently than most people. The agenda is important and the quality of the speakers is absolutely important, but in my view those are simply the things that lead to the one thing that can transform a merely good conference into a great conference: the quality of the attendees.
(The quality of the attendees is exactly why I like the HDMA Track and Trace Seminar. BTW, this year’s HDMA event starts this Thursday).
In the case of this year’s PSM event, I rate the quality of the attendees very high, and that’s because I had a number of great conversations with some very knowledgeable people during the breaks and at the social event the evening before. That was my interaction with the attendees, not the speakers. One of the topics of conversation surrounded the question of what exactly it was the led to the successful challenge to the Prescription Drug Marketing Act (PDMA) pedigree provisions in the RxUSA v. HHS court case and appeal and whether or not the same thing might occur with other drug pedigree laws.
AN IMPORTANT QUESTION GOES UNANSWERED
One of the first speakers at the PSM event was U.S. Representative Jim Matheson (D-UT), sponsor of H.R.3026, the “Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act of 2011” which was introduced into the House of Representatives on September 22, 2011. There are some differences, but the core of this new bill is basically the same as Continue reading Impact of RxUSA v. HHS On Future Pedigree Legislation