Buried deep inside the complaint filed in federal court last month by TraceLink against the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) is the heart of the issue (see “Tracelink vs. HDA”). It’s about the sharing of product master data throughout the supply chain—that is, “Supply Chain Master Data” (SCMD) (see “Supply Chain Data Synchronization and Patient Safety”). According to TraceLink’s complaint, the closed nature of HDA’s Origin master data sharing service (see “Dawn of HDA’s Origin, The Key to DSCSA Compliance”) is causing problems for vendors of DSCSA compliance solutions, and that will cause end-user companies in the supply chain to pay more for their overall solution. Continue reading What The TraceLink v HDA Lawsuit Teaches Us About The Value of Supply Chain Master Data
Yesterday I published an essay about the new discussion draft of a Federal track and trace regulation bill from the Senate HELP Committee. It is definitely worth watching closely, but don’t let it take your eye off of the California regulations. Those are real today and will move forward unless Congress and the President complete the enactment of a bill that preempts the California law. That’s a long and uncertain road and the discussion draft released last week is only the first unofficial step.
Last week I wrote about the new draft regulation on certifications in California e-pedigrees. In the same document—distributed by Joshua Room, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice assigned to the California Board of Pharmacy, at the March 14, 2013 Enforcement Committee meeting (and converted to MS Word document form by me)—on page 3, you will find the draft regulation for the use of inference. This draft regulation is Continue reading California’s Draft Inference Regulation
During the March 14, 2013 meeting of the Enforcement Committee of the California Board of Pharmacy, Joshua Room, Supervising Deputy Attorney General at California Department of Justice assigned to the California Board of Pharmacy distributed copies of draft text that he is looking for public comments on. The draft is for regulations covering pedigree “certification”, the use of “inference” and “inspection” of electronic pedigrees. Unfortunately the text is Continue reading Draft Regulations On Certifications Within California ePedigrees
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
A lot of things related to ePedigree in the U.S. supply chain are cooking right now but they seem to be happening a little too slowly, so it will be interesting to see where it all ends up in the next few years. After developing the Drug Pedigree Messaging Standard (DPMS) in 2006-2007, GS1 is now taking only the initial steps toward adding network-centric ePedigree capabilities to their EPCIS and related standards. The California Board of Pharmacy says they would like to be able to accept a semi-centralized network centric approach as long as it includes all the stuff listed in their pedigree law. For nearly 18 months, GS1 U.S. has been “nearing publication” of a draft guideline—six years in the making—that is supposed to help companies who want to use EPCIS to meet the California law. Congress considered passing a Federal track & trace regulation that would have preempted the California law last year but failed from lack of agreement between the parties. Some companies are making good progress on meeting the serialization requirement but the number who have the pedigree part figured out are those who have settled on DPMS. All the while the California pedigree deadlines are rushing toward us like a bus-sized asteroid heading straight toward Earth. Not surprisingly, the asteroid is moving faster than the efforts to divert or absorb it.
I’ve written about my theory that the date of impact won’t be pushed out again, no matter what happens (for a full explanation of that theory, see “Will The California ePedigree Dates Slip Again?”).
What can be done? In my view, it’s going to be determined by Continue reading California ePedigree Uncertainty
Last week I published an essay that gave GS1 some advice on how to trigger interest in adoption of their Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN). Those of you who read that essay in the first two days read my snarky comments about GS1 seemingly attempting to commandeer the term “Data Quality” to include the need for GDSN. That was based on a mis-interpretation of their marketing materials for their “Data Quality Framework” and as soon as I discovered my mistake I removed that part of the essay, leaving the core point of the essay intact (see “An Open Letter to GS1, RE: GDSN Marketing”).
In fact, GS1 is saying exactly the opposite of what I originally thought regarding Data Quality and GDSN. That is, before you start publishing your supply chain master data (SCMD) through GDSN you should ensure that the quality of your data is high. As GS1 points out, “Good quality data is foundational to collaborative commerce and global data synchronisation.” I couldn’t agree more.
The GS1 Data Quality program is centered on the “Data Quality Framework”, which is Continue reading Before You Sign Up For GDSN, Get Your Data In Order With A Data Quality Program
The title is a paraphrase of a TV commercial from the 1960’s, ’70’s and ’80’s for Lay’s Potato Chips but the sentiment is the same. You really can’t get away with using only a single GS1 standard. That’s why they are sometimes referred to as “The GS1 System of Standards“. It’s a “system” of standards. Multiple standards that are designed to work for you together in concert; as a whole; not independently.
So when your customer demands that you make use of Global Location Numbers (GLN) and/or Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), they are starting you down the path of adoption of much more than just those two “entry-level” standards (see my essay “So a customer demands that you use GLN’s and GTIN’s. What next?”). Here is a partial list of other GS1 standards that you may benefit from adopting once you fully embrace GLN and GTIN: Continue reading GS1 Standards – Betcha Can’t Use Just One!
For the application of unique serial numbers, or Standard Numerical Identifiers (SNIs), to packages as part of compliance with the California Pedigree Law in 2015-2017 , GS1’s Electronic Product Code (EPC), particularly in barcode form, is the clear winning standard. But there seems to be a very common misconception going around that for pedigree data management, all you need to do to comply with that law is to deploy a system that is based solely on the GS1 Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) standard. The misconception assumes that there is a formula that can be followed to achieve compliance and that EPCIS is the whole formula.
In truth, EPCIS will almost certainly be an important component in the compliance formula but exactly how it fits, and whether there are other necessary components, has not yet been determined.
There are probably several reasons that this misconception persists. First, GS1 US continues to promote their 2015 “Readiness” Program as if it is that formula. The program documentation strongly implies that, if you simply follow their program, you will “be ready” to comply with the law; but it stops short of actually saying that you will be compliant.
Second, it seems like people are either able to understand the law well but not the technical standards, or they are able to understand the technical standards well but not the law. The legal folks are left to trust what the technical people say about EPCIS, and the technical people assume that as long as the data elements identified in the law are present somewhere then EPCIS must comply.
Now I am not a legal expert but I’ve been looking at the text of the California Pedigree Law for a few years now and I think I understand it at a level that allows me to estimate how various technical approaches might fill its requirements. Let me show you how Continue reading Why GS1 EPCIS Alone Won’t Work For California Pedigree, Part 1