Last week the European Medicines Verification Organisation (EMVO) sent a letter to all of their “Onboarding Partners” (OBPs), or drug marketing authorisation holders (MAHs) informing them of a problem EMVO is seeing with many of the expiration dates on drugs being uploaded. The problem they highlighted in the letter has been recognized by people around the world, and each country has decided to handle it slightly differently. Drug manufacturers should be aware of these differences to ensure compliance and avoid false failed verifications. Let’s take a closer look at the issue and what each country expects you to do about it.Continue reading Global Differences In Expiration Date Encoding
Medical device manufacturers have a choice of standards to use when identifying their products for the U.S. market. The FDA’s Unique Device Identification (UDI) rule allows them to select from any identification standards organization (referred to as a “number issuing” agency) that is accredited by the Agency for that purpose. So far, three organizations have been FDA-accredited: HIBCC, ICCBBA and GS1.
ICCBBA has a lock on the identification of Continue reading GS1 Publishes Version 16 Of Their General Specifications …And Why You Should Care
In Brazil, the National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance (ANVISA) has built their pharma serialization regulation around GS1 standards. They embrace the GS1 Datamatrix and GS1-128, both encoded with GS1 Application Identifiers (AI) and using GS1 Human Readable Interpretation (HRI) (see my previous essay, “The ANVISA Unique Medicine Identifier (IUM) on Drug Packages”, for my thoughts on HRI), the GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) and the GS1 Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) to be specific. But there is one GS1 standard they steer clear of: the GS1 serial number. Why is that? Continue reading Why Does ANVISA Embrace GS1 Standards, Except The Serial Number?
GS1’s Serial Shipping Container Code, or SSCC, has been around a long time, but the logistics identifier has recently taken center-stage in a number of controversies related to meeting several country-specific pharma traceability regulations. I’ll cover these controversies in multiple essays—in this one, Brazil.
This controversy started when ANVISA, the pharma regulator in Brazil, indicated in their regulations that they expected companies to mark every “transport package” entering their supply chain with a unique identification code so that each serialized unit inside can be associated with it (the aggregation requirement).
The problem is, a homogeneous case of product can Continue reading ANVISA And The SSCC Controversy
I often write about the fact that drug manufacturers and repackagers that sell into the U.S. market must put “serial numbers”, or “serialize” their drug packages and homogeneous cases before November 27, 2017, but what exactly does that mean?
Let’s break it down. The Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) defines the term “Product identifier” this way:
The term ‘product identifier’ means a standardized graphic that includes, in both human-readable form and on a machine-readable data carrier that conforms to the standards developed by a widely recognized international standards development organization, the standardized numerical identifier, lot number, and expiration date of the product.” (Section 581)
Back in March of 2010—3 ½ years before Congress passed the DSCSA—the FDA published final guidance called “Guidance for Industry, Standards for Securing the Drug Supply Chain – Standardized Numerical Identification for Prescription Drug Packages”, which defined the term “standardized numerical identifier (SNI)” this way: Continue reading DSCSA “Serial Numbers”
Over the next two weeks I have a very special treat for RxTrace readers. It is an interview with Ken Traub, GS1 standards expert and independent consultant. The subject is GS1 serial number randomization, something so important that I think pharma companies ought to give deep thought to it before they turn on their serial number applications.
Pharma manufacturer who sell into the E.U. and/or Brazil markets will be forced to randomize their serial numbers because of regulatory requirements, but even those who only sell into the U.S. market should strongly consider randomization. I’ll have more to say about why in a follow-up essay after this series is over.
Because the interview with Ken covers the topic so thoroughly, it is long. That’s good, because it provides readers with an easy to understand explanation of everything they need to know about randomizing. But it also makes for a very long essay, so I have broken the interview down into five RxTrace essays. Read sequentially, they contain the complete interview. The subtopics covered by those essays include: Continue reading Randomization—An Interview with Ken Traub—Part 1: GS1 Serial Number Considerations
There is a new and valuable resource available for anyone who needs to make use of both GS1 RFID and GS1 barcodes–or even just one or the other–on any product or shipping container and in any supply chain. It is called “RFID Bar Code Interoperability, GS1 Guideline” and it is available as a free PDF download here on the GS1 website.
This is a guidance document, which means that it isn’t a standard itself but draws contents from GS1 standards documents to better explain the subject. In this particular case it draws primarily from the GS1 General Specifications and the Tag Data Standard. Both of those source documents are huge and so you will find this new guidance document a relative joy to read if you need this kind of information.
Even if you are already familiar with GS1’s RFID and barcode standards, intermingling them so that they are fully interoperable in a single application isn’t Continue reading InBrief: RFID and Barcode Interoperability
[This essay is one of two long lost essays that have now been restored on RxTrace. It was originally published on November 22, 2010. See “Return Of Two Classics” for an explanation.]
In my last essay, “Who Will Decide Which Pedigree Model You Will Invest In?” I pointed out how easy it is to get confused about pedigree technology because of varying claims made by certain companies who have interests that don’t align well with yours. So where can you get better information? I can provide you with a few good sources, and I will also tell you about a missing ingredient that I see in the current guidance landscape that will need to be addressed in the next couple of years. Continue reading Standards and Guidance For U.S. Pharma Supply Chain Technology