Tag Archives: Pharma Supply Chain

Blockchain And Track & Trace Models

Blockchain technology is also known as “Distributed Ledger” technology.  That is, a sequential ledger is shared (distributed) amongst a group of people/entities.  This terminology, at least, seems to imply that blockchain would be a good way to represent—in digital form—the transactions in a supply chain, which are distributed geographically and over time.  Way back in 2011 I posted an essay aimed at analyzing the viability of three different ways of digitally modeling the pharma supply chain.  I called it, “The Viability of Global Track & Trace Models”.  I’d like to revisit that essay to see how blockchain technology might affect my conclusions.

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Barcoding Regulation For India’s Domestic Drug Supply

India has recently made moves to impose a new barcoding requirement for all drugs procured by state and federal governments for domestic public consumption.  The new requirements are part of the preference to “Make In India” program that is intended to “…promote manufacturing and production of goods and services in India with a view to enhancing income and employment.”

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FDA Hammer Comes Down On McKesson For DSCSA Violations

The internet lit up last week on the publication of an official warning letter from Alonza Cruse, Director, Office of Pharmaceutical Quality Operations, Office of Regulatory Affairs, to John H. Hammergren, CEO of McKesson Corporation, for violations of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).  I’ve written about this situation before, back when the original FDA 483, notice of “inspectional observations”, was originally published (see “McKesson’s DSCSA 483 Explained”), but this new letter provides many more details of the incidents that led to that original notice, including some details of McKesson’s follow-up communications regarding the situation. 

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HDA Makes A Strong Case For ‘Reframing’ Of FDA’s Draft Guidance On DSCSA Verification Systems

Last October the FDA published a draft guidance called “Verification Systems Under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) for Certain Prescription Drugs” (see “DSCSA: Verification Systems Draft Guidance”).  Near the end of the comment period in December, the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) submitted comments containing proposed changes.  Like other comments submitted by the HDA for other FDA DSCSA guidance, these are well worth reading.  Once again, the HDA demonstrates their thorough understanding of the DSCSA and their ability to clearly and crisply explain where the FDA’s draft language fails to reflect the language in the original law. 

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FDA Announces Start Of DSCSA Voluntary Piloting Program

Starting tomorrow companies in the US supply chain wishing to volunteer to participate in FDA-sanctioned Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) pilots will have just 30 days to apply.  Applicants are asked to propose pilots aimed at the goals of the FDA program.  These include:

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Most Companies Will Do DSCSA Verification Wrong

A lot has been written about the concept of “verification”, here in RxTrace and elsewhere.  It’s all good, but I still don’t think the critical point has been made yet by anyone—including me (see “What’s So Hard About Unique Identifier Verification?”)—and until it is, companies are going to do it wrong.  Less than an hour after I posted my essay last Wednesday (see “GS1’s Messaging Standard For Verification Of Product Identifiers”) I received an email from a subscriber who had questions about it, the essay was referenced in a post on LinkedIn by a reader in Europe, and I found a great link to a brand new essay about verification by Scott Pugh that had just been posted about the same time.  So here is my new take on why most companies are going to get it wrong.

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FMD: Denmark Moves To Solve FMD Dilemma

Beginning in less than two weeks, all packages of prescription drugs entering the EU pharma supply chain must contain a 2D barcode encoding the EU serialized ‘Unique Identifier’ (see “The ‘Unique Identifier’ in the EU Delegated Act”).  More importantly, all drugs that have an FMD unique identifier on them at the point of dispense after February 9, 2019 must be “verified” and decommissioned through the National Medicines Verification System (NMVS) (see “What’s So Hard About Unique Identifier Verification?” and “Decommissioning Under the FMD/EUDR”).  It looks like my prediction of FMD delays was wrong (see “How Will They Delay The FMD?”) but at least Denmark has just moved to solve a serious FMD dilemma with a kind of delay.  Let me explain.

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Mixed Signals From Russia

I’m not talking about the mixed signals from Russia in your daily political newsfeed, I’m talking about the mixed signals we see between the Russian Federation decrees for their pharma serialization and traceability mandate, and the announcements of the government’s designated technology contractor to develop that system:  CRPT, LLC.  Considering how short the deadlines are, these mixed signals are counterproductive because they cause companies to pause while they figure out what they should do.  Let me explain.

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