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
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?
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
Under the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD), starting on February 9, 2019 drug manufacturers must begin affixing a new Unique Identifier and an anti-tamper device to all consumer packages of prescription drugs (see “The E.C. Officially Published The Pharma Safety Feature Delegated Act This Morning”). The Unique Identifier must be composed of a Product Code, Serial Number, Batch Number, Expiration Date and, where required, a National Reimbursement Code (see “The ‘Unique Identifier’ in the EU Delegated Act”). This data must be uploaded to the E.U. Hub prior to shipment into the supply chain. All of the details are spelled out in the Delegated Regulation (EUDR).
One of the more interesting aspects of the FMD/EUDR is the Product Code. Continue reading The FMD Product Code
RxTrace readers are already well aware that multiple new laws around the world will require prescription drug manufacturers to put a new 2D barcode on their products in the next few years. But what if your drug package is too small to fit the new mandated 2D barcode and human readable information on the label? Let’s take a look at what the regulations say in the E.U., Brazil and the United States. From that, we can come up with some strategies. Continue reading Is Your Drug Too Small For The Mandated 2D Barcode?
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