Category Archives: DSCSA

2018 HDA Traceability Seminar Recap

Dr. Ilisa Bernstein, PharmD, JD

I look forward to the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) Traceability Seminar every year because it is where the a very large number of the key members of the US supply chain meet to discuss implementation of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).  Organizations like the HDA, GS1 US and the FDA often save up their significant news and publications throughout the fall so they can release them with big fanfare at this event.  This year was no exception.  All three of those organizations made news with their announcements this year. Continue reading 2018 HDA Traceability Seminar Recap

McKesson’s DSCSA 483 Explained

Back on July 3, 2018 the FDA issued a notice of “inspectional observations”—known as an “FDA Form 483”—containing observations that appeared to the inspector to be potential violations of certain sections of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).  The FDA recently posted the form on their website, but did not post the response from the company.  I assume McKesson would have contested it.  Without knowing what McKesson said to the FDA in response, let’s take a closer look at the FDA’s logic and come up with our own thoughts. Continue reading McKesson’s DSCSA 483 Explained

FDA Posts Two Final DSCSA Guidances And A Draft Product Identifier Q&A Document

Last week the FDA posted final versions of two DSCSA guidance documents, and, a new draft Product Identifier Q&A document.  The two final guidance documents include the grandfathering policy and the product identifier compliance policy that delayed enforcement of the product identifier and verification requirements until November 27, 2018.  These documents are companions to each other, which is to say that they are pretty tightly related, and that’s why FDA Continue reading FDA Posts Two Final DSCSA Guidances And A Draft Product Identifier Q&A Document

Does the DSCSA Have A ‘Spirit’

I was on an industry call a few weeks ago when someone from a technology vendor suggested that the industry should take some particular action because, it was aligned with “the spirit of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA)”.  That got me to thinking… Continue reading Does the DSCSA Have A ‘Spirit’

HDA Responds To FDA Waivers, Exceptions, Exemptions Draft Guidance

Unlike the implication of this drawing, FDA does hear and care about submitted comments.

The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) recently posted their response to the latest draft Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) guidance published by the FDA.  That draft guidance explains how, when and why companies in the US pharma supply chain can apply for waivers, exemptions and exceptions to provisions in the DSCSA (see “FDA Draft Guidance: How To Apply For A Waiver, Exception or Exemption”).  As usual, the HDA took close to the full sixty day comment period to respond.  The comment period closed last Monday. Continue reading HDA Responds To FDA Waivers, Exceptions, Exemptions Draft Guidance

Newly Published Material From HDA and C4SCS

I was on vacation last week and only arrived home Sunday evening so I didn’t have time to write an essay for Monday, but this is Tuesday!  Near the end of last month there was a spike in the number of things that need to be covered in RxTrace.  Two of them are important things from HDA and the Center For Supply Chain Studies.  I’ve been waiting for both for months, and here they are. Continue reading Newly Published Material From HDA and C4SCS

DSCSA Makes M&A More Complex/Risky/Costly

When companies are thinking about merging or acquiring (M&A) other companies, or product lines from other companies, they typically engage in a process known as “due diligence” to discover any hidden risks that might come along with the action.  In the pharma industry the risks are huge, so this activity is intense and costly.  Discovery of larger risks than expected can result in the abandonment of the M&A plan, or can result in the adjustment of the price—usually downward.  Now that pharma supply chain companies in the US are required to retain detailed transaction information about every purchase and sale of prescription drugs for six years, and must respond to verification requests over the life of the product, due diligence is now more complex and risky, and so it is more important than ever. Continue reading DSCSA Makes M&A More Complex/Risky/Costly

DSCSA: Why FDA Will Not Mandate Blockchain, EPCIS Or Any Other Specific Technology

There are a lot of discussions going on in the industry right now, over which approach and which technologies the US pharma supply chain should select to meet the 2023 requirements of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).  People are understandably confused over these discussions.  Why should we guess what the FDA will accept in 2023?  Blockchain?  EPCIS?  Aren’t these debates and discussions just a waste of our time?  Why doesn’t the FDA just tell us which technology they will accept for the DSCSA in 2023?  In fact, these questions have become so common lately that I think it is time to examine what is going on.  There are definitive answers to these questions, and they are contained within the DSCSA itself. Continue reading DSCSA: Why FDA Will Not Mandate Blockchain, EPCIS Or Any Other Specific Technology