The U.S. FDA just published a docket asking for public input into standards for the interoperable exchange of information for tracing of human, finished, prescription drugs in paper or electronic format. Ironically, they will accept responses to the docket in either paper or electronic format. Comments should be submitted to the FDA within 60 days. If my calculation is correct, you have until April 21st to submit your comments.
“…An unsettling example occurred during one of our distributor pilot programs. Our system detected a number of counterfeit products (9% of the total sample to be exact) that were sent back as returns. This means that the molecular structure or product signature didn’t match up with the legitimate product standard. Upon further examination, it was discovered that the sealed bottles contained counterfeit replacements for the valid product. What makes this even a more difficult pill to swallow (pun intended) is the fact that these products would in most cases be restocked and sold again. The returns areas are the most overlooked link in the supply chain and from reading the DSCSA text, it continues to be (at least for the next 4 years).”
Last week I published an overly long essay about how the supply chain provisions of the new U.S. Federal DQSA will and won’t protect the pharma supply chain. Believe it or not, I had more to say on the subject, but because that essay was already too long, I withheld my additional thoughts until now. Part 1 took another look at a number of supply chain crimes that have occurred over the last 5 to 6 years and attempted to determine how the new Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) that is contained within the DQSA will add new protections that will or won’t help prevent crimes like them in the future.
The supply chain provisions contained within the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA)—themselves known as the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA)—mark a significant achievement by Congress and the industry to protect the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain from criminals. It is the first completed attempt since 1987 when the Prescription Drug Marketing Act (PDMA) was enacted by Congress and signed by President Ronald Reagan. In comparison, the provisions of the DSCSA are much more detailed and extensive than the PDMA and they read as if they were heavily influenced by people who solidly understand the scale and complexity of the legitimate supply chain. Which, they were, based on the contribution of the Pharmaceutical Distribution Security Alliance (PDSA)—made up of key stakeholders in the supply chain—in their development. That should ensure that the industry will be able to adopt the technology and process modifications necessary to meet the new law on time.
But will all this also lead to true protection of the supply chain from criminal activities? Will the DSCSA portion of the DQSA end up presenting new and insurmountable barriers against criminals who game the supply chain to their advantage and thereby putting patients at risk? These are the true measures of the success of this type of legislation. How can we know if the DSCSA will have these positive affects? Continue reading How the DQSA Will–And Won’t–Protect The Supply Chain, Part 1→
I have carried a printout of Title II (the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, or DSCSA) of the DQSA around with me ever since it was passed and it is now so dog-eared and marked up that I am about ready to print out another copy. Only trouble is, I would need most of those markings in the new copy too, so I just keep using the same printout.
According to the White House website, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 3204, the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA), into law a short time ago, bringing to a successful conclusion efforts by the industry and consumer groups to create a national pharmaceutical serialization and track & trace regulation that eliminates the patchwork of state laws in addition to new regulations for compounding pharmacies.
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.