On January 17, 2013 a federal grand jury indicted three individuals in 28 counts connected with Cumberland Distribution, a pharmaceutical distribution company licensed in Tennessee, on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice. Notably, some of the evidence used against the alleged co-conspirators are the pedigrees that they allegedly forged in an attempt to make their business look legitimate to their unsuspecting customers.
The wide-scale use of “inference” in the pharmaceutical supply chain is essential to the successful operation of a track & track or ePedigree system. Companies cannot be expected to open every case they plan to ship, or that they receive, so that they can figure out exactly which package-level serial numbers are involved. The use of the serial number packaging hierarchy, or, “Aggregation information”, to “infer” which packages are being shipped or received is the only way to maintain a level of supply chain efficiency that is close to pre-serialization levels. On the other hand, regulator acceptance of the use of inference in the supply chain has the potential to complicate their investigation of criminals.
In recognition of its importance in maintaining efficiencies, the California legislature instructed the Board of Pharmacy to draw up rules that would allow companies to optionally make use of it (see my essay “Inference in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain” for the exact text of the inference provisions of the California Business and Professions Code). It leaves the important question about who Continue reading How Should Inference Work?→
Neither Lincoln nor King were present at the beginning of our country so most people don’t consider them to be “Founding Fathers”, but because they both caused major course corrections in our nation’s direction that actually straightened our path and lead us to achieve freedom for all Americans, I count them that way.
Amid news of our disfunctional Congress, more mass gun violence and negative economic news last week, I received the links to the following uplifting videos about Walgreen’s Anderson, South Carolina distribution center. After watching them, I have determined that you must see them.
Click the link to watch what I think should have been called, “Walgreens, Automation, and Erasing Disabilities, Part 1” (but instead is called “The Coolest DC in the World…Part 1”):
Who will own the data that supply chain trading partners store in some future cloud-based, semi-centralized Network Centric ePedigree (NCeP) data repository? I met one potential future repository service provider who seemed to think that they would own that data. Imagine their excitement. All the data about where drugs go throughout the supply chain! Think of the value they could mine from that.
Well, that’s never going to happen because companies in the supply chain won’t sign up for handing over all of their supply chain data to some third-party just so they can comply with regulations, especially when there exists an alternative approach that would allow them to avoid using a third-party and still comply (by using DPMS). And regulatory agencies are Continue reading Data Ownership In The Track & Trace Cloud→
…a comprehensive exploration of the intersection between healthcare supply chains, track and trace technology, standards and global regulatory compliance
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