Drug companies who serve markets within the European Union (EU) have until February 9, 2019 to add serial numbers within a Data Matrix barcode to their drug packages, among many other specific requirements (see “The ‘Unique Identifier’ in the EU Delegated Act”). The specific requirements are outlined in the EU Delegated Regulation (EUDR). I’ve written a lot about the EUDR over the last few years (see RxTrace: Delegated Regulation). Today I want to highlight and explain a problem that may be brewing in the implementation of the system of repositories as established by the non-profit European Medicines Verification Organization (EMVO). The potential problem is related to the way the EMVO Continue reading Pharma Serial Number Randomization Under The Falsified Medicines Directive
A “product grouping” is any collection of saleable units of products that are bound together in some way. They can be “bundles”, homogeneous or non-homogeneous cases, totes, pallets or something like these. The pharma serialization regulations in some markets call out some of these groupings for special treatment, and some do not. I’ll try to catalog what we know about product groupings in each of the current, known regulations. Continue reading Serializing Product Groupings Under Global Regulations
It is a little surprising that the European Union Delegated Regulation (EUDR) uses a form of the word “decommission” 67 times, but not even once uses the opposite term, “commission”. Article 3.2(c) of the EUDR defines the term ‘decommissioning of a unique identifier’ as:
“… the operation changing the active status of a unique identifier stored in the repositories system referred to in Article 31 of this Regulation to a status impeding any further successful verification of the authenticity of that unique identifier;”
It is a striking omission to define how to change the active status of a drug to impede successful verification, but to fail to define the opposite operation that sets the active status to enable successful verification in the first place. Continue reading Decommissioning Under the FMD/EUDR
A revolution occurred last week. Not by guns—by referendum. Like most revolutions, it caught a lot of people by surprise. The most laughable surprise comes from those who voted for the UK to leave the European Union as a kind of protest vote, but immediately became sorry they voted that way after learning that they had “won”, because they really didn’t mean it! It’s also laughable to hear the cries of the people who didn’t bother to vote because they felt confident that the referendum would go their way. Now they would like to go back in time so they can cast their vote. Whoops, too late.
What these people didn’t realize is that revolutions are serious business, whether executed with guns or with votes. One of the reasons Continue reading How Brexit Might Impact The Pharma Supply Chain
The key part of Article 50 of the European Union Delegated Regulation (EUDR) says: “This Regulation…shall apply from 9 February 2019.” That’s the date of the “big bang”—the date everything takes effect. On that date, all drugs entering E.U. markets (except in Italy, Belgium and Greece) must contain the two safety features called out by the regulation on their packaging, including an anti-tamper device and a compliant Unique Identifier (see “The ‘Unique Identifier’ in the EU Delegated Act”). It is the date by which “National Competent Authorities” in each of the EU member states (except the three listed above) must offer a data repository for the covered drug products that are targeted at their local market. And it is the date on which dispensers (called “persons authorised or entitled to supply medicinal products to the public” in the text) must begin using the system of repositories to “…verify the safety features and decommission the unique identifier of any medicinal product bearing the safety features they supply to the public…”. All on the same day. The day of the “big bang”.
This “big bang” start will result in some problems. Continue reading More Concerns With The FMD/EUDR Big Bang Start
Ever since the E.U. Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) was passed in 2011 my European friends have touted the fact that their government mandated solution would take a “bookend” approach. The implication was always that it would be much less complex than the ePedigree approaches that were being planned by various U.S. states, and then by the U.S. federal government with the passage in 2013 of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).
My friends always liked to point out how simple Continue reading EU FMD: Aggregation Is Not Mandated, But It Will Be Necessary
Drug verification is at the heart of most pharma serialization regulations. It is the point at which someone in the supply chain or a patient uses the unique identifier on the drug package to determine that the drug is probably authentic, or definitely is not. We can tell a lot about the intent of a given serialization regulation by looking at the specific language that determines by whom and when a unique identifier must be verified. Continue reading Drug Verification: EU Vs US
Why is there such a wide gap between the actions of the UDI face of the FDA and the DSCSA face?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is an agency of the U.S. government that falls under the Department of Health and Human Services, which is under the leadership of the current Presidential Administration through a cabinet seat. But it is also a concept, and the concept has been conceived, modified, adjusted, influenced and expanded—especially expanded—by many thousands of members of Congress that have served from 1906 to 2016. It started as a nearly powerless monitoring agency in 1906 with the passage of the Federal Food and Drugs Act. But in the aftermath of a number of widely-reported incidents of harm and deaths caused by cosmetics and medicines, the Congress passed the original Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (FD&C) in 1938 and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law.
Right from the beginning you had an agency with at least three faces: foods, drugs and cosmetics. Continue reading Sponsored: The Many Faces Of The FDA