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
The lack of simple, standard, low cost product master data synchronization threatens to derail the industry’s general consensus-plan to use GS1’s Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) as the basis of the interoperable electronic data exchange to meet the 2023 requirements of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) (see “HDA Questions FDA’s Authority To Mandate A Centralized System For the EDDS”). This is probably why the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) tried to get out in front and offer their Origin master data synchronization service last year (see “Dawn of HDA’s Origin, The Key to DSCSA Compliance”). And it likely underlies why TraceLink filed a lawsuit against HDA a few months later (see “Tracelink vs. HDA” and “What The TraceLink v HDA Lawsuit Teaches Us About The Value of Supply Chain Master Data”, and also see the standard disclaimer below). That lawsuit has since been settled out of court.
Without everyone holding the identical product master data for every drug they might receive, EPCIS messages used to document DSCSA transactions will need to carry that master data. That would induce a heavy Continue reading Simple, Standard, Low Cost Product Master Data Synchronization for DSCSA
Normally drugs dispensed by American pharmacies are repackaged into the “standard” amber vial. The pharmacy places their own label on that bottle so the patient normally doesn’t receive the manufacturer’s package that would have the new 2D barcode mandated by the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). There are a few drugs that are not repackaged by US pharmacies, like most things in an inhaler and drugs in “compliance packaging” like birth control pills. But even then, the pharmacy puts their label on the package
One of the few drugs I take daily is a statin, which has always been put into an amber bottle by my pharmacy. A few months ago I received a three months supply, and to my surprise, the pharmacy dispensed the prescription in the manufacturer’s original 90-count bottle, and there was the DSCSA 2D barcode on the label. The pharmacy label was positioned so that it formed a “flag” and did not cover the 2D barcode, and the pharmacy label was easily removed to expose the entire manufacturer’s label. This drug was made by Lupin Pharmaceuticals, a generic drug manufacturer base in India. How did they do? Continue reading I Receive My First Serialized Drug From My Pharmacy: Is It Right?
The Enhanced Drug Distribution Security (EDDS) phase of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) is due to begin on November 27, 2023. That’s the first day that the US pharma supply chain is supposed to fully operate with serial numbers. Yes, serial numbers in human readable and encoded into 2D barcodes will be on every drug packaged after November of this year, but there is only limited use of those serial numbers in the supply chain until 2023. But when the EDDS starts, everything changes. From that point on, every Transaction Information (TI) document must include the full DSCSA Unique Identifiers—including the serial numbers for the first time—that are physically included in the shipment, the Transaction History (TH) no longer needs to be exchanged, and the data exchange requirements change. Let’s focus in on those data exchange changes. Continue reading EDDS: The New Data Exchange Requirements
On October 17 – 19, 2017 the global GS1 Healthcare community came together for their fall conference in Chicago, IL. The conference was packed with practical information for implementing GS1 Standards across every spectrum of the Healthcare industry. To cover the entire event, I’ve asked Karen Fleshman, Co-founder, COO of the Haskins Advisory Group, to cover the medical device sessions while I cover the pharma sessions. Let’s hear from Karen first. Continue reading The Fall Global GS1 Healthcare Conference
Under the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD), starting on February 9, 2019 drug manufacturers must begin affixing a new Unique Identifier and an anti-tamper device to all consumer packages of prescription drugs (see “The E.C. Officially Published The Pharma Safety Feature Delegated Act This Morning”). The Unique Identifier must be composed of a Product Code, Serial Number, Batch Number, Expiration Date and, where required, a National Reimbursement Code (see “The ‘Unique Identifier’ in the EU Delegated Act”). This data must be uploaded to the E.U. Hub prior to shipment into the supply chain. All of the details are spelled out in the Delegated Regulation (EUDR).
One of the more interesting aspects of the FMD/EUDR is the Product Code. Continue reading The FMD Product Code
There are some discontinuities between the needs of the industry for meeting serialization regulations around the world and certain GS1 standards, including their Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) and Core Business Vocabulary (CBV) standards. I’ve already pointed out the issue of EPCIS expecting everyone who uses it to possess, by default, a GS1 Global Location Number (GLN) (see “GLN: The Lowly Identifier That Could Kill The Use Of EPCIS For Pharma Regulatory Compliance”). Here is one more. Continue reading Serial Number Bonding
Today, Peggy Staver will officially retire from Pfizer, after a career of 35 years. Those of us who have worked on figuring out how to implement anti-counterfeiting solutions that work in the U.S. pharma supply chain over the last 15 years or so will miss her friendly, inquisitive and steady voice very much. Continue reading Thank You Peggy Staver!