As we near the end of 2014, several important pharma traceability deadlines around the world are approaching. Besides the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), these include deadlines in Brazil and South Korea. Of course, each regulation is different. Now that the initial implementation of the exchange of transaction data in the U.S. is widely being implemented in Electronic Data Exchange (EDI) Advance Ship Notices (ASNs), the next hurdle for drug manufacturers will be to deploy serialization technologies on their U.S. and Korea market packaging lines. The data exchange technology problem will shift to Brazil, and that’s where I see trouble. Continue reading Global Traceability Data Exchange: Troubled Waters Ahead
Last Friday a new committee formed by Rx-360 held their first meeting of parties interested in identifying architectures—or at least “conceptual models”—useful for efficiently meeting the full diversity of pharmaceutical track and trace regulations around the globe. Rx-360 is a non-profit organization “…formed in 2009 to support an industry-wide commitment to ensure patient safety by enhancing quality and authenticity throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain”, according to their press releases.
The new committee is called the “Traceability Data Exchange Architecture Work Group” and it seeks Continue reading Pharma Supply Chain Companies Organize To Establish Global Traceability Data Exchange Architecture
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!
The current drafts of the nationwide pharmaceutical track and trace (Pedigree) bills on the floors of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives both include an initial lot-based pedigree requirement that may be based on paper or electronic documentation (see “The Politics Of Federal Track & Trace Legislation”). What is a lot-based pedigree and how is it different from one based on package-level serial numbers? Let’s take a closer look at the kind of system that these bills would require. Keep in mind that the Senate bill would mandate this kind of pedigree system for the next 10 years and the House bill would make it permanent.
First of all, according to both bills, pharma manufacturers would be required to Continue reading The Federal Lot-Based Pedigree Before Congress
One of the questions that must be answered is, “how will an ePedigree and track & trace system be funded?”. Who pays, who gets paid, and how much? The answer to these questions are partly determined by which technology model is in use. One reason a distributed model is usually the first model people think of is that the funding is so obvious: it is localized. In that model each company would arrange for their own services. No pooling is needed. That’s simple to understand and quantify because everyone is in control of the services they need.
But because distributed models have so many points of failure—any one of which would Continue reading Would A U.S. Federal Pedigree Law Require A New UFA?
It’s well known that the California pedigree law requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to serialize their drugs, 50% by January of 2015 and the remaining 50% by January of 2016. But the law also requires those manufacturers to start drug pedigrees for those drugs by those same dates. The only problem is, no one is required to be able to receive those pedigrees until July of 2016 when distributors and repackagers must have their systems ready, so why can’t we defer the selection of the ePedigree format and data exchange model until about that time at the latest?
Interestingly, Virginia Herold, the Executive Officer of the California State Board of Pharmacy gave some credibility to that idea Continue reading InBrief: Can ePedigree Be Deferred Until Mid-2016?
GS1 Healthcare US, an arm of GS1 US the member organization (MO) of the global GS1 standards organization, has just published the “preliminary version” of a track & trace implementation guide. The full title is “Implementation Guideline, Applying GS1 Standards to U.S. Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Business Processes To Support Pedigree And Track & Trace, Release 1.0”.
This document contains the accumulation of thought and best practices generated over the last nine years within various working groups of GS1 Healthcare US and from pilots conducted by its members (including the Abbott Labs, McKesson, VA and GHX pilot that I wrote about in “The Significance of the Abbott, McKesson and VA Pilot”). Pulling it all together into a single coherent document turned out to Continue reading The New GS1 Healthcare US Track & Trace Guidance
Currently, we know that companies can use GS1’s Drug Pedigree Messaging Standard (DPMS) to comply with the California pedigree law. That’s been known for a long time now. But many companies have been hoping to use GS1’s more general purpose Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) standard instead for almost as long. For just as long, it has been known that a number of problems arise when you try to figure out exactly how to apply EPCIS to California compliance.
The problem is, EPCIS was originally envisioned by its creators to share supply chain “visibility” data. That is, event data that was to be collected automatically based on Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) reads picked up by readers that were to be spread around the supply chain by each of its members. The collection of RFID readers were to form a kind of “visibility” of each RFID tag applied to the products in the supply chain. From this visibility would come benefits. One of those benefits was to be Continue reading “The Shadows Of Things That MAY BE, Only” : EPCIS and California Compliance