Drug companies who serve markets within the European Union (EU) have until February 9, 2019 to add serial numbers within a Data Matrix barcode to their drug packages, among many other specific requirements (see “The ‘Unique Identifier’ in the EU Delegated Act”). The specific requirements are outlined in the EU Delegated Regulation (EUDR). I’ve written a lot about the EUDR over the last few years (see RxTrace: Delegated Regulation). Today I want to highlight and explain a problem that may be brewing in the implementation of the system of repositories as established by the non-profit European Medicines Verification Organization (EMVO). The potential problem is related to the way the EMVO Continue reading Pharma Serial Number Randomization Under The Falsified Medicines Directive
It is a little surprising that the European Union Delegated Regulation (EUDR) uses a form of the word “decommission” 67 times, but not even once uses the opposite term, “commission”. Article 3.2(c) of the EUDR defines the term ‘decommissioning of a unique identifier’ as:
“… the operation changing the active status of a unique identifier stored in the repositories system referred to in Article 31 of this Regulation to a status impeding any further successful verification of the authenticity of that unique identifier;”
It is a striking omission to define how to change the active status of a drug to impede successful verification, but to fail to define the opposite operation that sets the active status to enable successful verification in the first place. Continue reading Decommissioning Under the FMD/EUDR
The key part of Article 50 of the European Union Delegated Regulation (EUDR) says: “This Regulation…shall apply from 9 February 2019.” That’s the date of the “big bang”—the date everything takes effect. On that date, all drugs entering E.U. markets (except in Italy, Belgium and Greece) must contain the two safety features called out by the regulation on their packaging, including an anti-tamper device and a compliant Unique Identifier (see “The ‘Unique Identifier’ in the EU Delegated Act”). It is the date by which “National Competent Authorities” in each of the EU member states (except the three listed above) must offer a data repository for the covered drug products that are targeted at their local market. And it is the date on which dispensers (called “persons authorised or entitled to supply medicinal products to the public” in the text) must begin using the system of repositories to “…verify the safety features and decommission the unique identifier of any medicinal product bearing the safety features they supply to the public…”. All on the same day. The day of the “big bang”.
This “big bang” start will result in some problems. Continue reading More Concerns With The FMD/EUDR Big Bang Start
Drug verification is at the heart of most pharma serialization regulations. It is the point at which someone in the supply chain or a patient uses the unique identifier on the drug package to determine that the drug is probably authentic, or definitely is not. We can tell a lot about the intent of a given serialization regulation by looking at the specific language that determines by whom and when a unique identifier must be verified. Continue reading Drug Verification: EU Vs US
As serialization mandates sweep the world you would think that drug manufacturers and repackagers would just deploy one generic “serialization application” and simply turn it on for any drugs that requires it, and turn it off for any that do not. That’s probably what the legislatures and regulators who create the requirements think. RxTrace readers know it’s not nearly that easy.
The problem is that every regulation requires something different. The only common thread is that there is always a “serial number” requirement in there somewhere (thus the name). But the serial number itself is usually defined differently and everything else that surrounds the serial number is often not the same. It’s not a matter of just turning it on and off, it’s a matter of changing a bunch of parameters, which result in significantly more complexity in the setup, testing and validation of the system for each market. Continue reading Meeting U.S. and E.U. Drug Serialization Requirements With A Single Solution