This year there was a significant jump in the percentage of drug products containing the 2D barcode mandated by the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). The problem is, for the last three years they have published their data four to five months after they collected the data (see also “Wholesalers Find Troubling Results In DSCSA Barcode Assessment“). What everyone really wants to know is, what percentage of drugs would have been marked with the 2D barcode in November of 2018 and today, not back in June of those years. And with three years’ worth of data, you can make a reasonable extrapolation of the data for the November dates, if you just apply a little spreadsheet and graphics skills. Let’s try it.
Normally drugs dispensed by American pharmacies are repackaged into the “standard” amber vial. The pharmacy places their own label on that bottle so the patient normally doesn’t receive the manufacturer’s package that would have the new 2D barcode mandated by the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). There are a few drugs that are not repackaged by US pharmacies, like most things in an inhaler and drugs in “compliance packaging” like birth control pills. But even then, the pharmacy puts their label on the package
One of the few drugs I take daily is a statin, which has always been put into an amber bottle by my pharmacy. A few months ago I received a three months supply, and to my surprise, the pharmacy dispensed the prescription in the manufacturer’s original 90-count bottle, and there was the DSCSA 2D barcode on the label. The pharmacy label was positioned so that it formed a “flag” and did not cover the 2D barcode, and the pharmacy label was easily removed to expose the entire manufacturer’s label. This drug was made by Lupin Pharmaceuticals, a generic drug manufacturer base in India. How did they do? Continue reading I Receive My First Serialized Drug From My Pharmacy: Is It Right?→
The Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) was constructed back in 2013 by Congressional staff, with input from the FDA, members of the industry and who knows who else. There was one bill in the House of Representatives and a different bill in the Senate. Once these bills passed their respective houses, they formed a conference committee who merged the two bills into the final text that we know today as the DQSA (see “It’s Official, President Obama Signs H.R. 3204, DQSA, Into Law”). Chapter 2 of that act is the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). Most readers of RxTrace haven’t forgotten that history but it is important to look back at that history to explain why most companies can ignore certain requirements in the law. That’s right. There are requirements in the law that you can ignore because they will not be enforced by anyone. They are the result of the disjoint way the DQSA was written. Let me explain. Continue reading 3 DSCSA Requirements You Can Totally Ignore→
RxTrace readers are already well aware that multiple new laws around the world will require prescription drug manufacturers to put a new 2D barcode on their products in the next few years. But what if your drug package is too small to fit the new mandated 2D barcode and human readable information on the label? Let’s take a look at what the regulations say in the E.U., Brazil and the United States. From that, we can come up with some strategies. Continue reading Is Your Drug Too Small For The Mandated 2D Barcode?→
One of the surprising things about industry preparations for the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) is how hard it is to make label changes to add the new DSCSA product identifier barcode (see “The DSCSA Product Identifier On Drug Packages”). The artwork changes necessary take a lot longer than everyone originally expected. Companies with hundreds of different drug packages to redesign may have trouble getting all the work done by the November 27, 2017 deadline (2018 for repackagers). If you have thousands of different packages, you had better have a large team working on the artwork changes right now.
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.