Dirk is the founder of RxTrace where he writes regularly on the intersection between the pharmaceutical supply chain, track and trace technology, standards and regulatory compliance. He has written hundreds of essays on those specific topics. A logical thinker, Dirk is skilled at making complex technical topics understandable to non-technical readers and listeners.
An Electrical and Computer Engineer by education, Dirk has worked as a consultant, software architect and automation engineer during a career spanning 30 years. Overall, Dirk's thought leadership has helped to expose hidden complexities and reveal surprising consequences and implications of drug serialization and pedigree laws around the world.
Dirk is the author of "The Drug Supply Chain Security Act Explained".
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This event is being rescheduled. The dates will be updated when the new dates are known.
Calling all medical device manufacturers, distributors, GPO’s, Providers, and healthcare industry stakeholders to make plans now to be in Baltimore in ???! The 12th annual UDI Conference continues to be the platform for you to stay informed about the latest developments in UDI implementation, enabling technology, regulatory updates, Provider momentum, and Global expansion.
Changes are coming to the way you connect with RxTrace. Next month RxTrace will return to being free to everyone and open to all. For the last year, all paid subscriptions have been pro-rated to end in March 2020. As part of that approaching transition I will switch back to an email notification system that I used between 2010 and 2012. It’s less configurable and less controllable…but it’s a free service! What that means is, if you are currently receiving “Feedblitz” email notifications whenever new RxTrace essays are posted—whether on a paid or FREE subscription—you will need to “re-subscribe” to the “Wordpress” email notifications to continue receiving notices. Here’s how.
Late last month the World Health Organization (WHO) published a draft “policy brief” for comments by February 28, 2020. The draft is aimed at regulators of medicines around the world who might be considering the development of new medicines traceability mandates. That pool of countries shrinks each year as more and more new mandates are announced, but considering the wide variations in the quality of the existing regulations, guidance aimed at those who would create new mandates is welcome. Let’s take a look at the draft.
Friday was “Brexit Day” in the United Kingdom—the last day the UK was a full member of the European Union. At 11pm London time, the UK entered an 11 month “transition period” that will lead to the full exit on December 31, 2020. On Wednesday the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to accept the UK withdrawal agreement, but a lot more negotiations are necessary before a true “deal” is made.
There are quite a few people people in the industry who misunderstand how the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) was designed to protect the supply chain. The most common misunderstanding is that it is a full “track and trace” system where drugs are verified at each step. In fact, the DSCSA is mainly just a breadcrumb system that forces companies in the supply chain to retain standardized documentation of supply chain events, “just in case”. Very few drug packages will ever get “verified” at any point in their existence in the supply chain. And that’s by design.
Last month the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a new notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) related to the importation of finished drugs from foreign supply chains–initially, only Canada but expandable in the future to other countries. The proposal is the result of President Trump’s initiative to lower the price of some medicines and it would invoke Section 804 of the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (FD&C)–inserted in the early 2000s–that envisions importation programs, under certain strict conditions. Programs under Section 804 can only be implemented if the Secretary of HHS certifies that the they will pose no additional risk to the public’s health and safety, and will result in a significant reduction in the cost of covered products to the American consumer (see “Can Trump/Azar/Sharpless Eliminate Parts of the DSCSA to Enable Importation?” and “Here We Go Again. Florida Flirts With Opening Door To Counterfeits“). Those are high bars. So high, that no Secretary of HHS has been willing to pursue Section 804 Importation Programs (SIPs) until the current one. Will the HHS proposed rule result in programs that pose no increased risk to American consumers? Let’s take a look and see if we can find the answer.
Happy New Year! 2020 is going to be an important year for the industry to work with the FDA to figure out how the 2023 requirements of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) will be met. A lot has to happen, and so far, the industry is making the right moves to make it happen. The question is, will the FDA join them in time?
…a comprehensive exploration of the intersection between healthcare supply chains, track and trace technology, standards and global regulatory compliance
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.