Tag Archives: Blockchain

EPCIS Explained

At a recent GS1 discussion group meeting one of the moderators acknowledged that they need to create a clear explanation for exactly what EPCIS is.  I’ve never been very impressed with GS1’s ability to explain their own standards at a high-level for non-technical readers.  They do a great job of explaining them at the minutia-level, but that’s the problem.  Non-technical people who must make decisions about GS1 standards probably get bogged down in that minutia and end up not really understanding what it is, why it is significant, and why they should use it.  Too much technical documentation exists on how to apply EPCIS, and not enough documentation on the why.

Continue reading EPCIS Explained

GS1 Blockchain Discussion Group Kickoff Meeting

Stock photo of actors reenacting the GS1 US discussion group meeting.

I attended the GS1 US Blockchain Discussion Group kickoff meeting on November 28-29 out of curiosity.  Fortunately it was held in Chicago so I didn’t need to travel very far.  Just a simple commuter train ride from home each day.  Any farther and I might not have attended, but I was glad I did.  It was great to have the opportunity to Continue reading GS1 Blockchain Discussion Group Kickoff Meeting

HDA Responds To FDA Waivers, Exceptions, Exemptions Draft Guidance

Unlike the implication of this drawing, FDA does hear and care about submitted comments.

The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) recently posted their response to the latest draft Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) guidance published by the FDA.  That draft guidance explains how, when and why companies in the US pharma supply chain can apply for waivers, exemptions and exceptions to provisions in the DSCSA (see “FDA Draft Guidance: How To Apply For A Waiver, Exception or Exemption”).  As usual, the HDA took close to the full sixty day comment period to respond.  The comment period closed last Monday. Continue reading HDA Responds To FDA Waivers, Exceptions, Exemptions Draft Guidance

DSCSA: Why FDA Will Not Mandate Blockchain, EPCIS Or Any Other Specific Technology

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

Simple, Standard, Low Cost Product Master Data Synchronization for DSCSA

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

Important New Blockchain Study Launched

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

An Open Letter To Blockchain Vendors: Please Pay More Attention

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

Data Ownership In The Track And Trace Cloud, Reprised And Updated

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