These are the last few days of 2014. During the rush up to Christmas, the FDA gave the industry a gift by announcing that they will not enforce the transaction data exchange requirements of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) until May 1, 2015—a four month delay (see “FDA Postpones Enforcement of DSCSA Transaction Data Exchange Until May 1” for details). So things are likely to be quieter this week than they otherwise might have been. And if you are one of those who are working this week, why not fill out the 2015 RxTrace U.S. Pharma Traceability Survey, sponsored by Frequentz? It will be closed soon so make sure you click here to fill it out now.
As expected, the FDA has published the draft guidance on standards for paper and electronic data exchange that was mandated by the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). And the guidance is early–by one day–fulfilling the intent of the FDA as expressed in the DSCSA Data Exchange workshop held last spring (see “The 2014 FDA DSCSA Workshop“).
The FDA published draft guidance earlier this week that might seem a little confusing. The full title is “The Effect of Section 585 of the FD&C Act on Drug Product Tracing and Wholesale Drug Distributor and Third-Party Logistics Provider Licensing Standards and Requirements: Questions and Answers. Guidance for Industry”. Because it is in “draft” form, it is published only to encourage people to submit comments about it. (See also, “The Differences Between The DSCSA, FDA Rules and Guidance”.)
You should not treat it as real guidance until it is published in final form sometime in the future (if ever—many draft guidances are left handing in the breeze and never finalized). As with all draft guidances, this one comes with a docket to provide the ability for people to leave comments to help the FDA figure out how to improve it before it becomes final.
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