Tag Archives: Congress

Will President Trump Eliminate The DSCSA?

screen_shot_2016-10-30_at_1-39-54_pm__previewPresident-elect Donald Trump has made no secret of his interest in eliminating regulations that burden businesses unnecessarily.  And he may take a particular interest in those that were newly imposed under President Obama.  He has vowed to use his first 100 days to repeal “Obamacare”, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and his plans include “ cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want to speed the approval of life-saving medications.”  Could the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) get caught up in that vow and also be repealed?  There are three obvious possibilities. Continue reading Will President Trump Eliminate The DSCSA?

Is A GS1 GTIN Really Usable As An NDC For DSCSA Compliance? Part 2

QuestionBottle.Part 2Part 1 of this essay provided a wealth of hyperlinks into the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and FDA guidance documents with content related to placing the National Drug Code in human- and machine-readable form onto drug packages prior to November 27, 2017 (see “Is A GS1 GTIN Really Usable As An NDC For DSCSA Compliance?  Part 1”).  In Part 2, we will look at how the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) will change, or add-to, the requirements found in those earlier specifications.  And finally, we will be able to answer the question in the essay title.


First of all, the DSCSA does not change anything Continue reading Is A GS1 GTIN Really Usable As An NDC For DSCSA Compliance? Part 2

India’s Pharma Export Regulations Update And The NECC Story

ReporterI was more than a little disappointed when I saw that SecuringIndustry.com had beaten me in a race to publish an essay/article about the new crazy serialization and traceability requirements published last week by the government of India.  That was to be my topic for next Monday.  But after reading their excellent coverage—received just as I was sitting down to begin writing—I felt better.  At least I had not yet started writing!  Don’t miss Phil Taylor’s excellent coverage and his link to the source regulation.  See if you agree how crazy it is.  The deadlines are now Continue reading India’s Pharma Export Regulations Update And The NECC Story

DSCSA “Serial Numbers”

????????????????I often write about the fact that drug manufacturers and repackagers that sell into the U.S. market must put “serial numbers”, or “serialize” their drug packages and homogeneous cases before November 27, 2017, but what exactly does that mean?

Let’s break it down.  The Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) defines the term “Product identifier” this way:


The term ‘product identifier’ means a standardized graphic that includes, in both human-readable form and on a machine-readable data carrier that conforms to the standards developed by a widely recognized international standards development organization, the standardized numerical identifier, lot number, and expiration date of the product.”  (Section 581[14])

Back in March of 2010—3 ½ years before Congress passed the DSCSA—the FDA published final guidance called “Guidance for Industry, Standards for Securing the Drug Supply Chain – Standardized Numerical Identification for Prescription Drug Packages”, which defined the term “standardized numerical identifier (SNI)” this way: Continue reading DSCSA “Serial Numbers”

When Will The DSCSA Ever Require Investments In Aggregation?

Packaging Hierarchy.  Drawing by Omega Design
Packaging Hierarchy. Drawing by Omega Design

I have been outspoken on the question of whether or not the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) requires companies in the supply chain to provide their customers with serial number-based aggregation data prior to 2023.  In my view, it does not, but others disagree, saying that there are requirements in the law that lead to the need for aggregation data during that time.  I do not agree with that either.  If you would like to review those arguments and find out exactly what “aggregation data” is, here is a list of RxTrace essays you should read:

Date Published Title/link
March 26th, 2012 Pharma Aggregation: How Companies Are Achieving Perfection Today
November 22nd, 2013 DQSA: Will U.S. Pharma Distributors Mandate Aggregation Data In Phase 1?
February 10th, 2014 Does The DQSA Require Manufacturers To Provide Aggregation Data? Survey Says…
June 9th, 2014 The Aggregation Hoax and PIA


The DSCSA requires the FDA to conduct at least 5 topical public meetings between now and Continue reading When Will The DSCSA Ever Require Investments In Aggregation?

RAPS Explains The 21st Century Cures Act

House Engergy and Commerce CommitteeAlexander Gaffney, RAC, Manager, Regulatory Intelligence at the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) is right on top of any new proposed legislation related to FDA and other health-related federal government agencies.  Last week he reported on the contents of a discussion draft of the “21st Century Cures” Act that was made public by the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee (see Gaffney’s “Regulatory Explainer: The 21st Century Cures Act”).

At 393 pages, the draft bill, if enacted in its current form, would Continue reading RAPS Explains The 21st Century Cures Act

The Coming Transition To Serialized Data

???????????In less than one month the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) will require all sales of drugs in the U.S. pharma supply chain to be accompanied by some very specific data (see “FDA Publishes Draft Guidance For DSCSA Data Exchange”).  The law requires companies to begin exchanging data on January 1 in either paper or electronic form, but because it would be virtually impossible for the big 3 wholesale distributors to accept even a single piece of paper for even a single shipment, the bulk of the U.S. sales by pharma manufacturers will be documented electronically from day-one.  It turns out, the vast majority of that electronic documentation will be passed in the form of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Advance Ship Notices (ASNs) (see “DQSA: Getting To Electronic Transaction Data Exchange”, “Just Released – The HDMA EDI ASN Guidance For DSCSA”, “HDMA Has Updated Their EDI ASN Guidance For DSCSA, Again” and “The HDMA Supply Chain Product Transaction Scenarios For DSCSA”).

But the vast majority of those EDI ASN documents are not likely to Continue reading The Coming Transition To Serialized Data

The GS1 Healthcare US Guidance For DSCSA, Vsn 1.1

GS1 US logoA few weeks ago, GS1 Healthcare US published version 1.1 of their guidance for using the GS1 Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) standard to meet the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).  See “GS1 Healthcare US Publishes Updated Guidance For DSCSA”.  I was too busy at that time to review the document properly, but it is an important addition to the spectrum of information that companies can use to help them understand how to best meet the requirements of the DSCSA so I wanted to get back to it when I had time.  That time is now.

As long term readers of RxTrace know, I did not believe EPCIS would ever be usable to meet the now obsolete California Pedigree law (see “The California Pedigree Law Is Now Officially Inoperative”), or any other State pedigree laws, and I do not believe it will be widely used to meet the Federal DSCSA before maybe 2021 or 2022, but I do believe it will take center-stage for meeting the long-term requirements of the DSCSA.

In 2023 the DSCSA transitions into Continue reading The GS1 Healthcare US Guidance For DSCSA, Vsn 1.1