One of the biggest challenges for companies in the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain when the California pedigree law becomes operational after December 31, 2014 will be the need to maximize the efficiency of dealing with serial numbers on each drug package. One way to do that is to maximize the use of “inference” where the case serial number is read and the unit package-level serial numbers are “inferred” from the unit-to-case aggregation information supplied by the upstream trading partner (See my essays “Inference in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain” and “Will The Pharma Supply Chain Be Able To Use Inference? Maybe Not!”).
But the problem with the use of inference is that you need to be able to rely on the accuracy of the aggregation information that your supplier provides to you. There is an element of trust in that—not just that you trust your supplier to be truthful with you but that you trust that your supplier’s case packing processes and systems will always accurately capture and document the unit-to-case hierarchy—or “aggregation”. You must be able to trust that the aggregation information your supplier provides to you will be 100% accurate. That’s a lot of trust. Continue reading Pharma Aggregation: How Companies Are Achieving Perfection Today