I was a little surprised at how heated the discussion was at the breakfast table back during last year’s Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) Traceability Seminar. I chose an open seat at a table with people from multiple drug manufacturers and someone from GS1 US. Our conversation at the table started out typically—the weather, the previous day’s speakers—the usual. I had recently been thinking about the human readable portion of the Product Identifier mandated by the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) (see “The DSCSA Product Identifier On Drug Packages”), so I asked everyone what their company was planning to do? Continue reading Human Readable Text Controversy
The Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) was constructed back in 2013 by Congressional staff, with input from the FDA, members of the industry and who knows who else. There was one bill in the House of Representatives and a different bill in the Senate. Once these bills passed their respective houses, they formed a conference committee who merged the two bills into the final text that we know today as the DQSA (see “It’s Official, President Obama Signs H.R. 3204, DQSA, Into Law”). Chapter 2 of that act is the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). Most readers of RxTrace haven’t forgotten that history but it is important to look back at that history to explain why most companies can ignore certain requirements in the law. That’s right. There are requirements in the law that you can ignore because they will not be enforced by anyone. They are the result of the disjoint way the DQSA was written. Let me explain. Continue reading 3 DSCSA Requirements You Can Totally Ignore
RxTrace readers are already well aware that multiple new laws around the world will require prescription drug manufacturers to put a new 2D barcode on their products in the next few years. But what if your drug package is too small to fit the new mandated 2D barcode and human readable information on the label? Let’s take a look at what the regulations say in the E.U., Brazil and the United States. From that, we can come up with some strategies. Continue reading Is Your Drug Too Small For The Mandated 2D Barcode?
RxTrace readers are well aware that the deadline is this November 27 for applying unique serial numbers within GS1 DataMatrix 2D barcodes to prescription drugs distributed in the United States under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). Once that happens, most prescription drugs entering the U.S. supply chain will be identified by 14-digit GS1 Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN-14) for the first time (see “Anatomy of a GTIN”). That’s because, you can’t fit the drug’s National Drug Code (NDC) along with the serial number, lot number and expiration date into a data matrix barcode, as required by the law, without first encoding it into a GTIN-14 (see “Anatomy Of The National Drug Code”, and “Depicting An NDC Within A GTIN”). This fact forces companies to encode their NDCs into GTIN-14s, many for the first time. Continue reading Sponsored: How To Properly Define GTINs For Your NDCs
A “product grouping” is any collection of saleable units of products that are bound together in some way. They can be “bundles”, homogeneous or non-homogeneous cases, totes, pallets or something like these. The pharma serialization regulations in some markets call out some of these groupings for special treatment, and some do not. I’ll try to catalog what we know about product groupings in each of the current, known regulations. Continue reading Serializing Product Groupings Under Global Regulations
Heart Failure is a human condition that is characterized by several easily identifiable symptoms, including fatigue, difficulty breathing and in its later stages, gurgled breathing. My mother and my mother-in-law both suffered from heart failure during their decline. Analogous to heart failure in humans is a condition of an identifier system that is near the end of its useful life that we can call “identifier failure”. At the end of November, a new FDA final guidance called “Requirements for Foreign and Domestic Establishment Registration and Listing for Human Drugs, Including Drugs That Are Regulated Under a Biologics License Application, and Animal Drugs” went into effect. Buried deep within this 200+ page document is the official announcement that signaled the National Drug Code (NDC) identifier system is now afflicted with this end-stage condition. The NDC won’t last long now, and there is no longer any excuse for inaction. The need for a replacement is now urgent. Continue reading NDC Nearing Its End, Afflicted by ‘Identifier Failure’
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
Part 1 of this essay provided a wealth of hyperlinks into the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and FDA guidance documents with content related to placing the National Drug Code in human- and machine-readable form onto drug packages prior to November 27, 2017 (see “Is A GS1 GTIN Really Usable As An NDC For DSCSA Compliance? Part 1”). In Part 2, we will look at how the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) will change, or add-to, the requirements found in those earlier specifications. And finally, we will be able to answer the question in the essay title.
HOW THE DSCSA CHANGES THE NDC AND BARCODE REQUIREMENTS FOR DRUG PACKAGES
First of all, the DSCSA does not change anything Continue reading Is A GS1 GTIN Really Usable As An NDC For DSCSA Compliance? Part 2