Neither the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) in the United States, nor the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) in the European Union explicitly mandates the capture or use of aggregation data (see “Aggregation –> Chargeback Accuracy –> ROI” and “EU FMD: Aggregation Is Not Mandated, But It Will Be Necessary“). In this instance, “aggregation data” is data that documents the serialized packaging containment hierarchy of drug products—also known as “parent-child relationships”. It is well established that companies are not required by law to capture it, but for the smooth operation of pharma supply chains under a serialization, tracing and/or verification regulation, high quality aggregation data will be necessary. But there are warning signs that a significant percentage of drug manufacturers are not going to meet that bar by the deadlines. Continue reading Aggregation: The Achilles’ Heel of Pharma Supply Chain Operation Under A Serialization Regulation
The era of personalized medicines has begun. These are medicines that are tailored specifically for a single patient, using that patient’s specific DNA or other blood characteristic as a guide or actual source component. The new chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CAR-T) is an exciting example. It results in the conversion of a patient’s own T-cells into cells that are able to recognize the specific type of cancer cells that the patient has, and thus able to attack them in the same way that normal T-cells attack normal infectious cells. In short, it’s a way of manipulating a person’s own immune system to attack cancer cells that it would normally be blind to. When it works, the results can be breathtaking. The question is, how are these drugs treated under today’s serialization and tracing regulations? Let’s take a look. Continue reading Personalized Medicines In A Serialized World
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
Last Friday marked one year to go for the start of the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) and the Delegated Regulation (EUDR) in the European Union (EU) (see “More Concerns With The FMD/EUDR Big Bang Start”). With the one year delay in the serialization and verification requirement of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) in the US, the deadlines for these two markets are only about 10 weeks apart, assuming there won’t be any more delays. I don’t expect another delay in the manufacturer’s serialization and verification deadline in the US, and I haven’t talked with anyone who expects Continue reading FMD, One Year Out