Thanks for inviting me to your DSCSA Pilot Party this week. I look forward to visiting you at your Silver Spring home so we can catch up on what’s been happing in our lives recently. I’m glad you are thinking more about the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) lately. I am too.
In fact, I’ve been thinking about how nice it would be if you would fix the broken National Drug Code (NDC) as part of the implementation of the DSCSA. It’s really not very hard to do. You already laid out and tested the path that needs to be followed when you implemented the Unique Device Identification (UDI) numbering system for medical devices a few years ago.
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.
There is a lot of angst in the pharma community right now about the fast approaching DSCSA first deadline for the exchange of transaction data, but the medical device community is dealing with an even earlier deadline: the September 24, 2014 deadline for UDI on class III medical devices.
The FDA UDI web page lists the following requirements for the September deadline, now less than five months away:
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