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
The lack of simple, standard, low cost product master data synchronization threatens to derail the industry’s general consensus-plan to use GS1’s Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) as the basis of the interoperable electronic data exchange to meet the 2023 requirements of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) (see “HDA Questions FDA’s Authority To Mandate A Centralized System For the EDDS”). This is probably why the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) tried to get out in front and offer their Origin master data synchronization service last year (see “Dawn of HDA’s Origin, The Key to DSCSA Compliance”). And it likely underlies why TraceLink filed a lawsuit against HDA a few months later (see “Tracelink vs. HDA” and “What The TraceLink v HDA Lawsuit Teaches Us About The Value of Supply Chain Master Data”, and also see the standard disclaimer below). That lawsuit has since been settled out of court.
Without everyone holding the identical product master data for every drug they might receive, EPCIS messages used to document DSCSA transactions will need to carry that master data. That would induce a heavy Continue reading Simple, Standard, Low Cost Product Master Data Synchronization for DSCSA
Today, the Center For Supply Chain Studies (C4SCS) announced that they are launching a new study called “Blockchain & Metadata”. C4SCS has been studying blockchain applications in the US pharma supply chain for nearly two years—including its potential use to help the industry meet future requirements of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) (see “Could Blockchain Technology Be Used For DSCSA Compliance?”). This newly announced study marks the first time the organization plans to explore applications of blockchain technology without specifically attaching them to pharma, although the subject definitely applies in pharma. Target participants of this study include Continue reading Important New Blockchain Study Launched
Dear Blockchain Vendors,
It was good to see all of you at last week’s Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) and Blockchain proof of concepts pilots review held by the Center For Supply Chain Studies (C4SCS) in Rockville, MD. I hope your travel home was uneventful. Let me say right at the top, I was in the audience representing Systech International. My co-worker, Joe Lipari partnered with Dwight deVere of RxTransparent as the Green Team. RxTrace is independent of Systech International. That said, as the author of RxTrace, I have some helpful advice for you. Continue reading An Open Letter To Blockchain Vendors: Please Pay More Attention
Back in January of 2013 I wrote an important essay called “Data Ownership In The Track And Trace Cloud” which analyzed a potential future where members of the pharma supply chain would need to deposit and maintain track and trace data in a centralized or semi-centralized data repository in the “cloud”. As the title implies, my main focus was on who would own that data, which was, and continues to be, a hot topic.
But now, five years on, things are getting less “potential” and more real. Continue reading Data Ownership In The Track And Trace Cloud, Reprised And Updated
That’s right. I have now concluded that Blockchain will never be used in the US supply chain to fulfill the DSCSA requirement for sellers to provide buyers with Transaction Information (TI) and Transaction Statements (TS) (see also “Could Blockchain Technology Be Used For DSCSA Compliance?”). So if you are currently planning to do a pilot to test a proposed architecture to do that, I recommend that you adjust it to test something else (see also “What Should FDA Pilot?”).
In fact, the thing to test is whether or not it can be used to facilitate gathering the TIs for a given Standardized Numerical Identifier (SNI) going back to the original manufacturer, as needed after November 27, 2023 during a suspect product investigation or recall. Those are rare events compared with the number of drug sales and shipments where the TI and TS will need to be exchanged.
How and why did I come to this conclusion? Let me explain. Continue reading Blockchain Will Not Be Used For DSCSA Data Exchange
The Enhanced Drug Distribution Security (EDDS) phase of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) is due to begin on November 27, 2023. That’s the first day that the US pharma supply chain is supposed to fully operate with serial numbers. Yes, serial numbers in human readable and encoded into 2D barcodes will be on every drug packaged after November of this year, but there is only limited use of those serial numbers in the supply chain until 2023. But when the EDDS starts, everything changes. From that point on, every Transaction Information (TI) document must include the full DSCSA Unique Identifiers—including the serial numbers for the first time—that are physically included in the shipment, the Transaction History (TH) no longer needs to be exchanged, and the data exchange requirements change. Let’s focus in on those data exchange changes. Continue reading EDDS: The New Data Exchange Requirements
Maybe I’m just hyper sensitive to all things blockchain right now, but it sure seemed like the topic of blockchain permeated the sessions and the halls at last week’s GS1 Connect conference, GS1 US’s annual membership event. Oddly, all of the official blockchain content was outside the Healthcare track. The technology is certainly applicable in all industries and apparently there is interest in it outside of the healthcare vertical within GS1 US. But what I observed there leads me to think we are very close to an important tipping point. Continue reading Blockchain Reigns At GS1 Connect 2017