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”).Continue reading Next Week’s HDA Traceability Seminar
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”).Continue reading FDA Inaction On Fixing The NDC Indicates Why They Should Get Out Of The Numbering Business
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.Continue reading GS1 US Publishes New DSCSA VRS Implementation Guide
Last week the Pharmaceutical Distribution Security Alliance (PDSA) released a prospectus for the, as yet, unnamed non-profit organization that they are trying to kickstart to help govern supply chain interoperability of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) solutions targeting the Enhance Drug Distribution Security (EDDS) phase that will go into effect in November of 2023 (see “PDSA’s Proposal for Governance of DSCSA Phase II Interoperability” and “PDSA Brainstorms Vision For DSCSA Governance Organization With Stakeholders”). You can download the prospectus here.Continue reading PDSA Releases Prospectus To Prospective Governance Group Members
Can President Trump, HHS Secretary Azar and Acting FDA Commissioner Sharpless eliminate/adjust/reinterpret any part of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) to allow Florida, Colorado, Vermont, Maine or any other US state or territory to import drugs from foreign markets? Let’s take a closer look at what’s been going on recently with the idea of importing drugs from other markets in an attempt to help American citizens buy them at a lower cost.Continue reading Can Trump/Azar/Sharpless Eliminate Parts of the DSCSA to Enable Importation?
The commercial use of barcodes began 45 years ago last week, and RxTrace began 10 years ago this week. These are pretty incredible milestones and it is worth stepping back and thinking about what it all means. GS1 issued a press release about the barcode’s 45th anniversary last week, providing links to several videos. These include some old-timey videos of what grocery checkout was like before barcodes, and when the UPC barcode was first introduced in Troy, Ohio in 1973. It made me feel old.Continue reading Barcodes 45, RxTrace 10
Earlier this month, the state of Florida (population: 21 million) passed a law that seeks to enable the importation of drugs from Canada (population: 37 million). The goal is to carve out some way for Florida residents to take advantage of the lower drug prices that Canadian citizens enjoy. Canada is a “single payer” healthcare country, except for prescription drugs, which are not covered by the Canadian universal public health insurance system. The reason some drugs are cheaper in Canada than they are here in the US is because the government is allowed to negotiate with drug companies to set pricing for their citizens. But in the US, Congress has specifically denied that option for itself, except for Medicare.Continue reading Here We Go Again. Florida Flirts With Opening Door To Counterfeits
Most RxTrace readers will recall that China was an early adopter of drug traceability. Back in 2007, companies were required to begin printing unique identifiers in linear barcodes on certain drug packages. The unique identifiers had to be purchased from a government contractor. The list of drugs grew each year to the point where all drugs were effectively covered by early 2016. But shortly after that, the whole requirement was suspended (see “China’s Retreat From Pharma Serialization: Will This Become A Global Trend?” and “China Adds Traceability Requirement To CFDA Drug Quality Management Specification”). Then last summer, a new government agency, the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), posted three draft guidance documents for review and comments (see “China Posts New Draft Pharma Serialization Guidelines”). Finally, last month, the NMPA published two of those documents in final form, “Implemented on April 19, 2019”.Continue reading China: NMPA Drug Traceability Guidance