About 3 years ago I published an essay called “U.S. Pharma Supply Chain Complexity” where I attempted to provide a more realistic understanding of the U.S. pharma supply chain than the typical supply chain drawing offers. That essay was aimed at helping the industry select an approach to meeting U.S. state pedigree laws, which are now preempted by the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). But, as with many of my older essays, the underlying ideas still have value despite preemption.
In this case, the ideas also provide a clear explanation for why pharma manufacturers should expect to meet the electronic data exchange requirements that are dictated by the large U.S. wholesale distributors, rather than attempting to get them to accept some alternate approach.
GS1 just updated their website with the newly updated versions of their Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) and Core Business Vocabulary (CBV) which were ratified by the GS1 Board on Monday. Both carry the new version number “1.1”. The two standards are separate but intertwined because the core business vocabulary is used within the various EPCIS events, so the two standards are likely to always be updated at the same time, as in this case.
This update marks the culmination of several years worth of hard work by the team, co-chaired by Michele Southall of GS1 US and Andrew Kennedy of FoodLogiQ, facilitated by the great Gena Morgan of GS1 US and with Ken Traub serving as the Editor for both standards documents, under the GS1 Global Standards Management Process (GSMP).
WHY THIS IS SIGNIFICANT FOR THE PHARMA SUPPLY CHAIN
The U.S. FDA held their first industry workshop focusing on the new Federal Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) last Thursday and Friday at FDA Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD. The goal of the workshop was to help the FDA collect ideas and preferences from industry stakeholders and technology providers for meeting the January 1, 2015 DSCSA requirement to exchange Transaction Information (TI), Transaction History (TH) and Transaction Statements (TS). The FDA must publish a draft guidance document on the same topic before November 27, 2014, so this workshop, plus the responses to the recent docket, will help them write that draft.
There is a lot of angst in the pharma community right now about the fast approaching DSCSA first deadline for the exchange of transaction data, but the medical device community is dealing with an even earlier deadline: the September 24, 2014 deadline for UDI on class III medical devices.
The FDA UDI web page lists the following requirements for the September deadline, now less than five months away:
…a comprehensive exploration of the intersection between healthcare supply chains, track and trace technology, standards and global regulatory compliance
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