Many RxTrace readers have a fairly good understanding of the perspective of drug manufacturers and wholesale distributors regarding the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) and its implementation, but dispenser perspectives are not so well understood. Enter IQPC who interviewed Brian Files, Principal Consultant with Healthcare Strategies Consulting Group and former Director, Inventory and Compliance with CVS Health, one of the largest chain pharmacies in the US, to find out his perspectives on the DSCSA.
Governments around the world recognize the problem that the World Health Organization (WHO) once called Substandard/Spurious/ Falsely-labelled/Falsified/ Counterfeit medical products, or SSFFC, but more recently calls Substandard and Falsified medical products. These governments recognize the problem, and their citizens suffer from it, but some of them don’t seem to know what to do about it. Nigeria, Kenya and other countries in Africa have been very assertive in attacking the problems, but other poorer countries without strong central governments can’t afford or don’t have the will necessary to take strong action.
Rich countries impose serialization and tracing requirements, but that only helps to keep the legitimate supply chain clean. Many countries Continue reading Sponsored: Anti-counterfeiting Successes and Failures Around the World
We recognize that counterfeit and grey market products pose tremendous risks, both to consumer safety and to your business’ bottom line. The 6th Pharma Anti-Counterfeiting & Brand Protection Summit takes a comprehensive approach to understand the latest regulations for the DSCSA to remain compliant and uphold quality through brand protections plans, anti-counterfeiting strategies, and effective partnerships.
Key Highlights for 2017 include: Continue reading Sponsored: Monitor Your Product. Manage Your Brand.
One of the focuses of RxTrace is to explore global pharma serialization and tracing regulations in an attempt to discover some of their implications. Some implications turn out to be obvious, but some turn out to be surprising. Identifying the implications early provides us with a better understanding of what to expect from our investments in time to fine-tune those investments. If company leaders have a realistic understanding of what to expect from different investments, they will make better decisions for their stakeholders. Can they expect to be fully compliant? Only partly compliant, thus needing to spend more down the road? Will they be fully compliant with the law, but disappoint their primary customers and thus find that their business takes a hit? If they have a good idea of what to expect before they Continue reading Sponsored: Will Global Serialization Mandates Result In Less Counterfeiting?
When serialization of drugs was first being considered for pharmaceuticals back in the mid-2000s, I recall that it seemed to rattle the traditional brand protection vendors who offered package-level authentication technologies. They were more than a little worried that drug companies would end up using serial numbers in place of their more traditional offerings, like holograms, specialty inks, micro-printing and other technologies. Back then, some drug companies were looking at using Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) tags to carry the serial numbers on their drug packaging, and perhaps these vendors feared that they would be left out.
I never understood what all the angst was about. Continue reading Your Plain Old Package: Unlock Its Built-in Brand Protection Capability
While writing last Monday’s RxTrace essay I ran out of time before I could get to the point I originally intended to make, so here is the conclusion to my thoughts on the topic.
The point I wanted to make is that there is a big difference between the goal of serialization and that of most other anti-counterfeiting technologies. Most anti-counterfeiting technologies covered in Mark Davison’s essential book on the topic, “Pharmaceutical Anti-Counterfeiting, Combating the Real Danger from Fake Drugs“, are technologies that a given manufacturer chooses to place in or on their drug, or on their drug’s packaging so that they can later differentiate it from potential counterfeit versions. That is, so that they can later “authenticate” only the drugs that they truly manufactured.
The decision a given manufacturer makes about which anti-counterfeiting technology(ies), if any, to use for a given drug for a given market is Continue reading The Different Goals of Anti-Counterfeiting Technologies and Serialization
Counterfeiting of drugs has become a favorite activity of organized criminals and it negatively impacts the citizens of every country in the world. The pharma industry is multi-national, the criminals are multi-national, the patients that are harmed are multi-national. What we need now more than ever before is a multi-national approach to fighting these crimes.
That’s why I was deeply disappointed last week to read that the World Health Organization (WHO) has barred a group of people with certain global crime fighting ideas from participating in their “member state” meeting on substandard/spurious/falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit medical products being held today through Wednesday in Buenos Aires, Argentina. See the Reuters article “Row flares over global fight against fake medicine” and see Roger Bate’s introduction to the group’s position “How to achieve international action on falsified and substandard medicines” and don’t miss the full PDF containing the group’s well-stated position.
Last Thursday a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators and Representatives jointly introduced a bicameral bill that would significantly increase the criminal penalties for drug counterfeiting to as much as 20 years in prison, as reported by Phil Taylor in SecuringPharma (see the article for the details). The house bill is called H. R. 3468, The Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act. The group of legislators include U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Representatives Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Linda Sánchez (D-CA). Not surprisingly the responses from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and Pfizer were swift and supportive.
Raising the penalties for counterfeiting drugs to the point where they adequately reflect the widespread harm they can cause the public is a very good thing. It should have the effect of making people think twice about selling counterfeit drugs to Americans through the internet or attempting to introduce them into the legitimate supply chain (brick-and-mortar and legitimate internet pharmacies). It may even cause more people in the legitimate supply chain to Continue reading STEP #1: Raise Penalties For Drug Crimes To Reflect The Widespread Harm They Can Inflict