This event has been rescheduled to April 12-13, 2021.
Calling all medical device manufacturers, distributors, GPO’s, Providers, and healthcare industry stakeholders to make plans now to be in Baltimore in ???! The 12th annual UDI Conference continues to be the platform for you to stay informed about the latest developments in UDI implementation, enabling technology, regulatory updates, Provider momentum, and Global expansion.
There are quite a few people people in the industry who misunderstand how the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) was designed to protect the supply chain. The most common misunderstanding is that it is a full “track and trace” system where drugs are verified at each step. In fact, the DSCSA is mainly just a breadcrumb system that forces companies in the supply chain to retain standardized documentation of supply chain events, “just in case”. Very few drug packages will ever get “verified” at any point in their existence in the supply chain. And that’s by design.
Some members of the US pharmaceutical supply chain are not waiting for the FDA to make the next move (see “DSCSA: Will 2020 Be FDA’s Year To Leap Forward?”). Instead, they are proactively organizing and setting the standards that will most likely be used to meet the requirements of the Enhanced Drug Distribution Security (EDDS) phase of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), which goes into effect on November 27, 2023. Forward motion has been made over the last month on two fronts: The DSCSA governance organization and the Verification Router Service (VRS).
When it comes to the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), the FDA seems to alternate between hibernating, and leaping forward. 2017 through mid-2018 was a leap forward period with the publication of 8 draft or final guidance documents and 3 public meetings. Then in 2019, hibernation. Yes, FDA’s list of DSCSA guidance and policy documents has two entries for 2019 so far, but one is simply a notice reopening the comment period on the DSCSA Pilots request for information that was originally opened in 2016 and 2017. The other is the compliance policy that provides one year of enforcement discretion for the 2019 wholesaler saleable returns requirement (see “No Surprise: DSCSA Verification Delay”). Neither were very taxing on the FDA to prepare. What should the FDA do next? What should they be doing right now?
Every year I look forward to the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) Traceability Seminar. It’s the one event in the US that is attended by everyone connected with pharma serialization and traceability, including those from manufacturers, 3PLs, repackagers, wholesale distributors, dispensers and solution providers. In that one time and place I can get answers to burning questions about what is going on in the industry and a sense for what people are thinking about a wide range of issues that appear here in RxTrace. The sessions are helpful, but the real goldmine are the hallway conversations. Of course, I’ve written about this before (see “2014 Fall Conference Season Preview” and “Terminology: Track and Trace, and Pedigree”).
It’s been eleven months since the FDA held their public hearing to collect ideas for fixing the National Drug Code (NDC) system (see “FDA Seeks Input On The Future Format of the National Drug Code” and “FDA New NDC Format Public Meeting”). The FDA, themselves, estimated that they may have as little as 10 years before they run out of Labeler Codes, and that was over a year ago. So now we have less than nine years? My friends, it’s almost time to panic because the FDA seems to have dropped the ball after hearing from the industry that they would need at least ten years to prepare for any changes that the FDA may make (see “FDA New NDC Format Public Meeting”).
Last week GS1 US announced that they have published a new implementation guideline to help companies in the US pharma supply chain make use of the new GS1 lightweight messaging standard for verification of product identifiers to meet the saleable returned drug verification requirement of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). The messaging standard itself was ratified by GS1 in January and it can be used to implement a wide range of product verification schemes in any industry. The new GS1 US guideline is a valuable resource for companies wanting to apply that standard to the problem of verifying drugs that fall under the DSCSA, so it contains a wealth of information needed to ensure interoperability of Verification Router Service (VRS) solutions.
…a comprehensive exploration of the intersection between healthcare supply chains, track and trace technology, standards and global regulatory compliance
DISCLAIMER: RxTrace contains some of the personal thoughts, ideas and opinions of Dirk Rodgers. The material contained in RxTrace is not legal advice. Dirk Rodgers is not a lawyer. The reader must make their own decisions about the accuracy of the opinions expressed in RxTrace. Readers are encouraged to consult their own legal counsel and trading partners before taking any actions based on information found in RxTrace. RxTrace is not a vehicle for communicating the positions of any company, organization or individual other than Dirk Rodgers.