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 That draft guidance explains how, when and why companies in the US pharma supply chain can apply for waivers, exemptions and exceptions to provisions in the DSCSA (see “FDA Draft Guidance: How To Apply For A Waiver, Exception or Exemption”).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 Continue reading HDA Responds To FDA Waivers, Exceptions, Exemptions Draft Guidance
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
Both, the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) in the US and the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) in the EU make use of unique identifier verification in one way or another. Under the FMD, verification is the centerpiece of patient protection. Under the DSCSA, verification is used as a tool to help resolve higher risk use cases, like saleable returns to wholesale distributors, and anytime someone becomes “suspicious” about a collection of drug packages. On the surface, verification of unique identifiers seems simple, but there are some sticky problems that make it complex in some circumstances (see also “Drug Verification: EU Vs US”). Continue reading What’s So Hard About Unique Identifier Verification?
There are lots of impactful requirements in the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), but there are two whose impact will likely increase the safety of patients far more than all of the others. That is, they are the most helpful requirements. Do they include serialization? Verification? Transaction documentation? Wholesaler and 3PL licensing? Not even close.
The two requirements that I believe will have the biggest impact on the safety of drugs in the US supply chain are the requirement to only engage in transactions with authorized trading partners, and the lot number being included in the 2D barcode. Let me explain. Continue reading The 2 Most Helpful Requirements In The DSCSA
Just after I posted my last FMD essay on RxTrace (see “FMD, One Year Out”) I found out that the European Commission had published version 9 of their “Safety Features for Medicinal Products for Human Use, Questions and Answers”. This is must reading for anyone with questions about how to interpret the most confusing provisions of the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) (also known as EU Directive 2011/62 and which amends Directive 2001/83) and the Delegated Regulation (EUDR) (also known as EU Regulation No 2016/161) (see “The E.C. Officially Published The Pharma Safety Feature Delegated Act This Morning“).
With each major revision this Q&A document grows. This time it grew substantially with the addition of 21 new questions and answers and updates to four previously posted answers.
But there is one provision of the FMD that defies explanation, even though the Q&A document burns two Q&As to attempt it. That provision in the FMD is Section 1 of Article 45a, which basically says, in part, that you cannot put an anti-tamper device on non-prescription drugs unless the EC or a Member State specifically says you can. What’s going on here? Continue reading The Most Head-Scratching Section Of The FMD
Last month GS1 US published the results of an assessment of the implementation progress by drug manufacturers of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) serialization requirements. It contains troubling indications of the next problem the industry will face in its quest for DSCSA compliance: too many unusable barcodes.
Big deal, you say? That kind of complacency could come back to haunt you later this year. Now is the time to look at your own packages and address any deficiencies. Here is a look at what GS1 US found in their assessment. Continue reading Wholesalers Find Troubling Results In DSCSA Barcode Assessment
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
The gulf in expectations and goals exposed in the first FDA Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) Public Meeting back in August (see “FDA DSCSA Public Meeting #1 Exposes Gulf In Goals” and “HDA Schools FDA On DSCSA”) was still visible in the second meeting last week. There is still one more announced meeting scheduled for February 28, 2018 for the FDA and the industry to align (see “FDA Announces New DSCSA Pilot Program and Public Meeting Series”). Based on my observations at these first two meetings, I’m not going to hold my breath. The FDA is likely to announce more meetings in 2018.
The FDA did adjust their position on at least one thing after the August meeting. Continue reading FDA DSCSA Public Meeting #2, Still A Gulf