Last week the FDA published a notice of a public hearing and request for comments regarding the impact of any future changes made to the length and format of the National Drug Code (NDC). The current format of the NDC has been around since the early 1970s (see “Anatomy Of The National Drug Code”). It has served the FDA, healthcare professionals and patients well since that time, but it is showing its age. I call its affliction, “Identifier Failure” and I point out all of the symptoms for the aging NDC system in my essay “NDC Nearing Its End, Afflicted by ‘Identifier Failure’”.
Heart Failure is a human condition that is characterized by several easily identifiable symptoms, including fatigue, difficulty breathing and in its later stages, gurgled breathing. My mother and my mother-in-law both suffered from heart failure during their decline. Analogous to heart failure in humans is a condition of an identifier system that is near the end of its useful life that we can call “identifier failure”. At the end of November, a new FDA final guidance called “Requirements for Foreign and Domestic Establishment Registration and Listing for Human Drugs, Including Drugs That Are Regulated Under a Biologics License Application, and Animal Drugs” went into effect. Buried deep within this 200+ page document is the official announcement that signaled the National Drug Code (NDC) identifier system is now afflicted with this end-stage condition. The NDC won’t last long now, and there is no longer any excuse for inaction. The need for a replacement is now urgent. Continue reading NDC Nearing Its End, Afflicted by ‘Identifier Failure’→
Thanks for inviting me to your DSCSA Pilot Party this week. I look forward to visiting you at your Silver Spring home so we can catch up on what’s been happing in our lives recently. I’m glad you are thinking more about the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) lately. I am too.
In fact, I’ve been thinking about how nice it would be if you would fix the broken National Drug Code (NDC) as part of the implementation of the DSCSA. It’s really not very hard to do. You already laid out and tested the path that needs to be followed when you implemented the Unique Device Identification (UDI) numbering system for medical devices a few years ago.
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.