Medical device manufacturers have a choice of standards to use when identifying their products for the U.S. market. The FDA’s Unique Device Identification (UDI) rule allows them to select from any identification standards organization (referred to as a “number issuing” agency) that is accredited by the Agency for that purpose. So far, three organizations have been FDA-accredited: HIBCC, ICCBBA and GS1.
ICCBBA has a lock on the identification of Continue reading GS1 Publishes Version 16 Of Their General Specifications …And Why You Should Care
When serialization of drugs was first being considered for pharmaceuticals back in the mid-2000s, I recall that it seemed to rattle the traditional brand protection vendors who offered package-level authentication technologies. They were more than a little worried that drug companies would end up using serial numbers in place of their more traditional offerings, like holograms, specialty inks, micro-printing and other technologies. Back then, some drug companies were looking at using Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) tags to carry the serial numbers on their drug packaging, and perhaps these vendors feared that they would be left out.
I never understood what all the angst was about. Continue reading Your Plain Old Package: Unlock Its Built-in Brand Protection Capability
Trust plays a big role in today’s U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain. Patients trust that their doctors know what they are doing when they prescribe a medicine and they trust their pharmacist to fill their prescriptions with real medicines that were:
- manufactured to tight quality specifications,
- are well within the expiration date,
- have not been tampered with,
- have always been kept within recommended environmental tolerances,
- and have been in the control of companies who have a strong interest in supply chain integrity and in the safety of the drugs within the supply chain.
When we receive our little amber bottles of repackaged drugs from our pharmacist, we aren’t given any way to check on any of those things ourselves. We trust that the pharmacy has done something to ensure all that. And fortunately in the U.S., we are almost always justified in that trust. We enjoy the safest supply chain in the world.
A WHOLE LOT O’ TRUSTIN’ GOIN’ ON
But, now if the pharmacy doesn’t get the drugs directly from the manufacturer, they trust that their wholesaler will supply them with drugs that have those characteristics too. And if the pharmacy’s wholesaler doesn’t get the drugs directly from the manufacturer, they trust that their wholesaler’s wholesaler provides them with drugs like that too. And if the pharmacy’s wholesaler’s wholesaler doesn’t get the drugs directly from the manufacturer, they trust that Continue reading Reliance on Trust in the U.S. Pharma Supply Chain