When companies are thinking about merging or acquiring (M&A) other companies, or product lines from other companies, they typically engage in a process known as “due diligence” to discover any hidden risks that might come along with the action. In the pharma industry the risks are huge, so this activity is intense and costly. Discovery of larger risks than expected can result in the abandonment of the M&A plan, or can result in the adjustment of the price—usually downward. Now that pharma supply chain companies in the US are required to retain detailed transaction information about every purchase and sale of prescription drugs for six years, and must respond to verification requests over the life of the product, due diligence is now more complex and risky, and so it is more important than ever. Continue reading DSCSA Makes M&A More Complex/Risky/Costly
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
In a lengthy comment submission to the FDA’s recent publication of draft guidance on Standardization of Data & Documentation Practices for Product Tracing (see “DSCSA Guidance: Standardization of Data & Documentation Practices for Product Tracing”), the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) called on the FDA to move on and focus on requirements for deadlines in the future, not those in the past. HDA’s comments on this guidance was the most strongly-worded submission of any they have made yet related to the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).
This is the first time I can remember HDA considering a draft guidance to be so bad that they called for its withdrawal in its entirety. They are not even asking the agency to re-write it. They feel that the guidance it contains is Continue reading HDA Urges FDA To Withdraw Draft Guidance ‘In Its Entirety’
Last week the FDA finally published their draft guidance for submitting a waiver, exception or exemption from certain Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) requirements. Originally, the latest possible date FDA could delay publishing this particular guidance was May 31, 2017. That is, 180 days before the manufacturer’s serialization and verification requirement was due to go into effect on November 27, 2017. Once that date passed without publishing this draft, they were forced to delay the start of the serialization/verification deadline, as they did in late June last year (see “FDA Tea Leaves: Are They About To Delay The November Deadline?” and “FDA Delays Enforcement of DSCSA November Deadline: What It Means”). That bought the FDA another year to publish, with the new publication deadline for the guidance being May 31, 2018, which they have now met (see “FDA To Publish Key Draft Guidance Tomorrow”). Continue reading FDA Draft Guidance: How To Apply For A Waiver, Exception or Exemption
This morning the FDA announced their intention to publish the long overdue draft guidance on Drug Supply Chain Security Act waivers, exceptions and exemptions tomorrow. The timing of the publication of this particular draft guidance is critical to the FDA holding their current enforcement deadline for serialization and verification for manufacturers and repackagers. In fact, if they had failed to meet their late May deadline for publication of this particular draft guidance Continue reading FDA To Publish Key Draft Guidance Tomorrow
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
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?