When companies are thinking about merging or acquiring (M&A) other companies, or product lines from other companies, they typically engage in a process known as “due diligence” to discover any hidden risks that might come along with the action. In the pharma industry the risks are huge, so this activity is intense and costly. Discovery of larger risks than expected can result in the abandonment of the M&A plan, or can result in the adjustment of the price—usually downward. Now that pharma supply chain companies in the US are required to retain detailed transaction information about every purchase and sale of prescription drugs for six years, and must respond to verification requests over the life of the product, due diligence is now more complex and risky, and so it is more important than ever. Continue reading DSCSA Makes M&A More Complex/Risky/Costly
There are a lot of discussions going on in the industry right now, over which approach and which technologies the US pharma supply chain should select to meet the 2023 requirements of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). People are understandably confused over these discussions. Why should we guess what the FDA will accept in 2023? Blockchain? EPCIS? Aren’t these debates and discussions just a waste of our time? Why doesn’t the FDA just tell us which technology they will accept for the DSCSA in 2023? In fact, these questions have become so common lately that I think it is time to examine what is going on. There are definitive answers to these questions, and they are contained within the DSCSA itself. Continue reading DSCSA: Why FDA Will Not Mandate Blockchain, EPCIS Or Any Other Specific Technology
Dear Blockchain Vendors,
It was good to see all of you at last week’s Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) and Blockchain proof of concepts pilots review held by the Center For Supply Chain Studies (C4SCS) in Rockville, MD. I hope your travel home was uneventful. Let me say right at the top, I was in the audience representing Systech International. My co-worker, Joe Lipari partnered with Dwight deVere of RxTransparent as the Green Team. RxTrace is independent of Systech International. That said, as the author of RxTrace, I have some helpful advice for you. Continue reading An Open Letter To Blockchain Vendors: Please Pay More Attention
Back in January of 2013 I wrote an important essay called “Data Ownership In The Track And Trace Cloud” which analyzed a potential future where members of the pharma supply chain would need to deposit and maintain track and trace data in a centralized or semi-centralized data repository in the “cloud”. As the title implies, my main focus was on who would own that data, which was, and continues to be, a hot topic.
But now, five years on, things are getting less “potential” and more real. Continue reading Data Ownership In The Track And Trace Cloud, Reprised And Updated
Both, the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) in the US and the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) in the EU make use of unique identifier verification in one way or another. Under the FMD, verification is the centerpiece of patient protection. Under the DSCSA, verification is used as a tool to help resolve higher risk use cases, like saleable returns to wholesale distributors, and anytime someone becomes “suspicious” about a collection of drug packages. On the surface, verification of unique identifiers seems simple, but there are some sticky problems that make it complex in some circumstances (see also “Drug Verification: EU Vs US”). Continue reading What’s So Hard About Unique Identifier Verification?
Normally drugs dispensed by American pharmacies are repackaged into the “standard” amber vial. The pharmacy places their own label on that bottle so the patient normally doesn’t receive the manufacturer’s package that would have the new 2D barcode mandated by the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). There are a few drugs that are not repackaged by US pharmacies, like most things in an inhaler and drugs in “compliance packaging” like birth control pills. But even then, the pharmacy puts their label on the package
One of the few drugs I take daily is a statin, which has always been put into an amber bottle by my pharmacy. A few months ago I received a three months supply, and to my surprise, the pharmacy dispensed the prescription in the manufacturer’s original 90-count bottle, and there was the DSCSA 2D barcode on the label. The pharmacy label was positioned so that it formed a “flag” and did not cover the 2D barcode, and the pharmacy label was easily removed to expose the entire manufacturer’s label. This drug was made by Lupin Pharmaceuticals, a generic drug manufacturer base in India. How did they do? Continue reading I Receive My First Serialized Drug From My Pharmacy: Is It Right?
Companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars, euros, rupees and rubles getting ready to comply with serialization regulatory mandates around the world. Deadlines are fast approaching in the US and the EU and they are already passed in India, South Korea, Argentina and Turkey. What companies are looking for next is how to extract some value beyond just complying with government mandates. Just about every solution provider offering serialization components and solutions out there has at least one product or service that is aimed squarely at this type of need. What we need to do is get these people together: those who are looking, and those who have the solutions.
Cognizant, a management consulting company, has written a very nice 11-page white paper exploring value beyond compliance. Continue reading Sponsored: Extracting Value Beyond Compliance From Serialization
Last week the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) published their second report on the experience of selected members of the pharma supply chain with the exchange of drug product tracing information as required by the DSCSA. This one was aimed at dispensers. The one published last fall was aimed at wholesale distributors. As you know, starting in January 1, 2015 (delayed until May 1, 2015), pharmaceutical wholesale distributors have been required to pass to their customers for non-exempt prescription drug shipments, and retain for six years, transaction documents (TI, TH and TS). Since July 1, 2015 (delayed until March 1, 2016), dispensers have been required to receive and store these Continue reading DSCSA: OIG Report Exposes Likely Enforcement Approach