The supply chain provisions contained within the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA)—themselves known as the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA)—mark a significant achievement by Congress and the industry to protect the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain from criminals. It is the first completed attempt since 1987 when the Prescription Drug Marketing Act (PDMA) was enacted by Congress and signed by President Ronald Reagan. In comparison, the provisions of the DSCSA are much more detailed and extensive than the PDMA and they read as if they were heavily influenced by people who solidly understand the scale and complexity of the legitimate supply chain. Which, they were, based on the contribution of the Pharmaceutical Distribution Security Alliance (PDSA)—made up of key stakeholders in the supply chain—in their development. That should ensure that the industry will be able to adopt the technology and process modifications necessary to meet the new law on time.
But will all this also lead to true protection of the supply chain from criminal activities? Will the DSCSA portion of the DQSA end up presenting new and insurmountable barriers against criminals who game the supply chain to their advantage and thereby putting patients at risk? These are the true measures of the success of this type of legislation. How can we know if the DSCSA will have these positive affects? Continue reading How the DQSA Will–And Won’t–Protect The Supply Chain, Part 1→
On a voice vote, the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has just passed the recently named “H.R. 1919, Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act of 2013” on to the full House of Representatives. One set of “technical” amendments offered by the bill’s authors was passed and four amendments offered by various Democrats were defeated prior to passage of the full bill by the committee. This action ensures that the bill will be debated on the full House of Representatives floor at some point in the current session. This marks the first time since 1987 that a pharmaceutical track and trace bill has made it out of a Congressional committee.
There are two pharmaceutical track & trace bills making their way through committees of Congress, one in the U.S. House of Representatives and one in the Senate. In both houses, these drafts are touted as bills to protect patients from the ill effects of illegitimate drugs in the legitimate supply chain, but, after reviewing the two drafts at length, I have concluded that the House draft is something else entirely. Rather than focusing on protection of patients, the House draft is primarily intended to protect the industry from the California pedigree law. “Patient protection” is little more than a veil to provide cover while the debate is kept on grounds more acceptable to the industry.
I’ve been reading the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report called “Countering the Problem of Falsified and Substandard Drugs” that was published last week. At 360 pages, it is quite literally a book, and you can buy it that way. But they also allow you to download the “Pre-publication Copy: Uncorrected Proofs” version in a 300 page PDF for free. I’m not sure why they would post uncorrected proofs rather than the final document on their site but I assume the text is in its final edited form and only the formatting might be different between the book and the PDF. I hope so anyway.
Perhaps the aggressiveness of the response date is a reflection of how important this piece of proposed legislation is. That is, if you think it is important, then you will immediately drop whatever it was you were doing and get right to the task of providing a detailed reply so they can make sure the final draft reflects your preferences. I don’t know what you’ve been up to, but this is my third essay about it. 😉
But the only reason everyone can agree on it is that there are literally hundreds of multiple-choice options (they call them “policy choices”) built in–kind of like Mad Libs. Anyone can use a marker to go through and cross out all the choices that they don’t like and they would end up with a bill that their constituency would probably accept. The problem is Continue reading Congressional Legislation Development: Mad Libs Edition!→
DISCLAIMER: RxTrace contains some of the personal thoughts, ideas and opinions of Dirk Rodgers. The material contained in RxTrace is not legal advice. Dirk Rodgers is not a lawyer. The reader must make their own decisions about the accuracy of the opinions expressed in RxTrace. Readers are encouraged to consult their own legal counsel and trading partners before taking any actions based on information found in RxTrace. RxTrace is not a vehicle for communicating the positions of any company, organization or individual other than Dirk Rodgers.