Tag Archives: GS1

GS1’s Messaging Standard For Verification Of Product Identifiers

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For companies in the US pharma supply chain, 2019 is going to be the year of an important milestone of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).   In November, wholesale distributors will be required to begin issuing verification requests to manufacturers, at the Standardized Numerical Identifier (SNI) level, for any returned drug that is still saleable, before they resell it.  I’ve written a lot about this change in the past.  

Continue reading GS1’s Messaging Standard For Verification Of Product Identifiers

EPCIS Explained

At a recent GS1 discussion group meeting one of the moderators acknowledged that they need to create a clear explanation for exactly what EPCIS is.  I’ve never been very impressed with GS1’s ability to explain their own standards at a high-level for non-technical readers.  They do a great job of explaining them at the minutia-level, but that’s the problem.  Non-technical people who must make decisions about GS1 standards probably get bogged down in that minutia and end up not really understanding what it is, why it is significant, and why they should use it.  Too much technical documentation exists on how to apply EPCIS, and not enough documentation on the why.

Continue reading EPCIS Explained

Decommissioning Under the FMD/EUDR

iStock_83566139_smallerIt is a little surprising that the European Union Delegated Regulation (EUDR) uses a form of the word “decommission” 67 times, but not even once uses the opposite term, “commission”.  Article 3.2(c) of the EUDR defines the term ‘decommissioning of a unique identifier’ as:

“… the operation changing the active status of a unique identifier stored in the repositories system referred to in Article 31 of this Regulation to a status impeding any further successful verification of the authenticity of that unique identifier;”

It is a striking omission to define how to change the active status of a drug to impede successful verification, but to fail to define the opposite operation that sets the active status to enable successful verification in the first place. Continue reading Decommissioning Under the FMD/EUDR

GLN: The Lowly Identifier That Could Kill The Use Of EPCIS For Pharma Regulatory Compliance

iStock_000085320577_SmallerAlmost 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

InBrief: Pharma Supply Chain Leaders, Stop Throwing Interoperability Under The Bus

57558052_smallerDuring the report out and follow-up discussion at last week’s FDA Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) Pilots Workgroup (see “The 2016 FDA Pilots Workshop”) I heard an example of the industry throwing interoperability under the bus.  That is, setting us all up for major complications down the road that could easily be avoided if the leaders would just address interoperability right today.  One of the long-time leaders of the use of serialization and traceability in the U.S. pharma industry spoke up in front of the entire assembly and said that there existed a general “agreement” within the industry that “not everyone will use EPCIS”.  That is, not everyone will use GS1’s Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) standard for meeting the DSCSA, and consequently, the FDA and the industry will need to allow other formats of the data in 2023.  I just about fell out of my chair. Continue reading InBrief: Pharma Supply Chain Leaders, Stop Throwing Interoperability Under The Bus

The 2016 FDA Pilots Workshop

2016-04-05 14.11.09.reducedI was initially disappointed in the FDA Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) Pilots Workshop that was held at FDA headquarters last week, but in the end, the outcome appeared to fit the need.  Going in, I knew not to expect the FDA to convey any information to the attendees, so that is not why I was disappointed.  I attended the public DSCSA workshop they held back in May of 2014 so I already knew their typical approach for workshops like these (see “The 2014 FDA DSCSA Workshop”).  I knew that the purpose of the workshop was to inform the FDA, not to inform the attendees.  I would estimate that about one out of every four attendees were expecting the opposite, and I would bet a significant percentage of those had not even read the DSCSA once.  But that’s not why I was disappointed.

I was initially disappointed because Continue reading The 2016 FDA Pilots Workshop

Meeting U.S. and E.U. Drug Serialization Requirements With A Single Solution

As serialization mandates sweep the world you would think that drug manufacturers and repackagers would just deploy one generic “serialization application” and simply turn it on for any drugs that requires it, and turn it off for any that do not.  That’s probably what the legislatures and regulators who create the requirements think.  RxTrace readers know it’s not nearly that easy.

The problem is that every regulation requires something different.  The only common thread is that there is always a “serial number” requirement in there somewhere (thus the name).  But the serial number itself is usually defined differently and everything else that surrounds the serial number is often not the same.  It’s not a matter of just turning it on and off, it’s a matter of changing a bunch of parameters, which result in significantly more complexity in the setup, testing and validation of the system for each market. Continue reading Meeting U.S. and E.U. Drug Serialization Requirements With A Single Solution

U.S. Drug Wholesale Distributors Provide Direction To Manufacturers

Providing "direction"Over the next few years, the U.S. drug wholesale distributors are going to start dictating their specific requirements related to the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) to their suppliers.  For the “Big 3” U.S. wholesale distributors, those suppliers happen to be nearly every drug manufacturer who markets drugs in the United States.  The “Big 3” include McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health, which together distribute about 85% of all drugs that pass through the domestic supply chain.

Of course, each segment has Continue reading U.S. Drug Wholesale Distributors Provide Direction To Manufacturers