Ever since the E.U. Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) was passed in 2011 my European friends have touted the fact that their government mandated solution would take a “bookend” approach. The implication was always that it would be much less complex than the ePedigree approaches that were being planned by various U.S. states, and then by the U.S. federal government with the passage in 2013 of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).
The final report of the 2016 RxTrace U.S. Pharma Traceability Survey, sponsored by Frequentz is now available. Download the full free report here. With this year’s survey we attempted to get a glimpse of the progress toward the next deadlines of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) from drug manufacturers, repackagers, wholesale distributors, 3PLs and dispensers. Each of those different types of respondents were asked a different set of questions that were pertinent to their segment and their regulatory requirements under the DSCSA.
Another week has gone by with no official movement in the Senate on the compromise pharmaceutical compounding and track & trace bill, H.R. 3204, the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) (see “Waiting For The Senate To Act On A Track & Trace Bill, Again”). With the focus of the Congress rightly on reopening the government I think we should expect to wait a little longer. You can bet that the supporters and the opposition are both developing their strategy as time goes by.
The California Board of Pharmacy has begun to hold ePedigree-specific meetings with staff and a subset of the Board present. The first of these occurred on Monday of this week. The agenda was fairly long and promised action on a number of important topics, including the possibility that the Board would consider the use of EPCIS as a pedigree platform, inference, pedigree certifications and drop shipments. I came away disappointed that the only thing that happened was a brief discussion of each topic but seemingly no real action. It was almost as if the Board members and staff had made no progress on any of these topics since the March Enforcement Committee meeting. All that seemed to happen since that meeting Continue reading Hey California Board of Pharmacy: Your Time Is Running Out!→
I attended the California Board of Pharmacy Enforcement Committee meeting last week and several topics came up that I want to write about. Unfortunately I’ve been doing a lot of traveling since then and all of a sudden I started having computer problems a few days ago. My youngest daughter is getting married next month and so the family met up in Chicago this past weekend for several of the events leading up to the big one. There is more travel scheduled for this week.
The wide-scale use of “inference” in the pharmaceutical supply chain is essential to the successful operation of a track & track or ePedigree system. Companies cannot be expected to open every case they plan to ship, or that they receive, so that they can figure out exactly which package-level serial numbers are involved. The use of the serial number packaging hierarchy, or, “Aggregation information”, to “infer” which packages are being shipped or received is the only way to maintain a level of supply chain efficiency that is close to pre-serialization levels. On the other hand, regulator acceptance of the use of inference in the supply chain has the potential to complicate their investigation of criminals.
In recognition of its importance in maintaining efficiencies, the California legislature instructed the Board of Pharmacy to draw up rules that would allow companies to optionally make use of it (see my essay “Inference in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain” for the exact text of the inference provisions of the California Business and Professions Code). It leaves the important question about who Continue reading How Should Inference Work?→
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