Some countries mandate the use of GS1 standards for drug product identification and package and case barcodes. The European Commission seems to tolerate GS1 standards, leaving it up to each member state to decide. Most use them, a few held onto their own national codes as long as they could. China is taking their time warming up to the GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) but it seems to be happening. That is, I think it’s happening. The United States has always had its own national numbering system for identifying drugs, known as the National Drug Code (NDC) (see “Anatomy Of The National Drug Code”). Because they are running out of numbers to identify new manufacturers (labelers), they are considering changes to the NDC that could break the ability to encode an NDC within a GTIN (see “How To Properly Define GTINs For Your NDCs”, “FDA New NDC Format Public Meeting” and “An Open Letter To The FDA: New NDC Format Public Meeting”). The USA is not the only country to be considering a break with GS1 standards. Indonesia will allow QR Codes on drug packages, and now there is a movement in the India government to move away from GS1 standards. What’s going on here? Can GS1 hold onto drug identification around the world? Let’s take a look.Continue reading Can GS1 Hold Onto Drug Identification Worldwide?
If your email inbox is anything like mine it has recently been swamped with articles and webinar notices about the possible use of blockchain technology to solve multiple challenges in healthcare. I recently attended a very interesting day-long workshop on that very topic.
So is blockchain a real solution, or is it just the latest over-hyped buzzword that is being promoted by people who don’t understand the real needs of healthcare companies? I’ll tell you what I think. But first, a little background.
Blockchain technology is a way of encapsulating information within a layer of structured data that multiple parties can use as the basis for trust in the accuracy of the source of that information. It’s all about adding trust to information that is shared between parties. Trust is just one of the many Continue reading Could Blockchain Technology Be Used For DSCSA Compliance?
A few weeks ago, GS1 US published version 1.2 of the DSCSA implementation guidance that documents how to apply GS1 standards when meeting the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). GS1 US is the GS1 Member Organization (MO) in the United States, of GS1, the global supply chain standards organization. Companies who market drugs in the U.S. pharma supply chain and their solution providers will find this new version to be an indispensable resource that will Continue reading The New GS1 US DSCSA Implementation Guidance Suite
There is a long-running tug-of-war going on between GS1 and national governments around the world over how exactly to identify medical products, whether devices or pharmaceuticals. National governments regulate those products to maximize the health of their citizens and so they take a natural interest in how they are identified. They want to eliminate all ambiguity between products within their market. They need to be able to tightly grant market authorization, revoke it and oversee recalls when warranted. To do that effectively, they need a way of clearly and concisely referencing a given product. That same way of referencing the product should also be used for patient education and for healthcare professional prescribing. Bad things happen when mistakes are made in the identification of healthcare products.
GS1 offers a global standard way of identifying Continue reading Product Identification And National Registration Codes
Almost everyone agrees that GS1’s Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) standard will be used by drug manufacturers and the large wholesale distributors in the United States for compliance with the serialization requirement of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). Even I think that (see “Will EPCIS Event Exchange Replace EDI ASNs for DSCSA Someday?”). But there is a problem that could kill its use beyond the internal uses of today, keeping it from being used for data exchange or the data repositories that will eventually become the way data is “exchanged” in 2023 as part of the Enhanced Drug Distribution Security (EDDS) phase of the DSCSA.
The problem is, EPCIS defaults to the use of a single location identifier, the GS1 Global Location Number (GLN). So what? Why is that a problem? Let me explain. Continue reading GLN: The Lowly Identifier That Could Kill The Use Of EPCIS For Pharma Regulatory Compliance
That’s right, I now recommend that you follow GS1’s Human Readable Interpretation (HRI) specification for drug labeling, even when under a serialization regulation. Previously I recommended against it (see “The DSCSA Product Identifier On Drug Packages”, and “The ANVISA Unique Medicine Identifier (IUM) on Drug Packages”). Why have I changed my mind? GS1 modified their specification to accommodate most of the objections I had over it. Let me explain.
The new specification for HRI is in the latest version of Continue reading I’ve Changed My Mind, Follow GS1’s HRI Specification