Last week the FDA announced it will coordinate one or more pilot(s) to assist in the development of the electronic, interoperable system that will identify and trace drugs in the U.S. under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) in its Enhanced Drug Distribution Security (EDDS) phase starting in 2023. Once they start work on pilot planning, they will call for proposals from stakeholders and others. But they can’t start until they get permission from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and they won’t even ask OMB for permission until they collect comments on the proposed collection of information associated with establishing the pilot program. Believe it or not, that was the Continue reading What Should FDA Pilot?
I finally had a chance to listen to the recording of the rfXcel webinar with Virginia Herold, Executive Officer of the California Board of Pharmacy, and Joshua Room, Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice assigned to the Board of Pharmacy. The webinar was recorded on May 29, 2013. Ms. Herold and Mr. Room have done these kind of webinars before (see “Q&A With Virginia Herold, Executive Officer, California Board Of Pharmacy”). But don’t worry, while there is a fair amount of repetition as you might expect, the Q&A is different enough that I always learn something new. I found this one to be entertaining as well as informative.
One of the questions they addressed was Continue reading Should Pharmacies Decommission EPCs Upon Dispense?
The wide-scale use of “inference” in the pharmaceutical supply chain is essential to the successful operation of a track & track or ePedigree system. Companies cannot be expected to open every case they plan to ship, or that they receive, so that they can figure out exactly which package-level serial numbers are involved. The use of the serial number packaging hierarchy, or, “Aggregation information”, to “infer” which packages are being shipped or received is the only way to maintain a level of supply chain efficiency that is close to pre-serialization levels. On the other hand, regulator acceptance of the use of inference in the supply chain has the potential to complicate their investigation of criminals.
In recognition of its importance in maintaining efficiencies, the California legislature instructed the Board of Pharmacy to draw up rules that would allow companies to optionally make use of it (see my essay “Inference in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain” for the exact text of the inference provisions of the California Business and Professions Code). It leaves the important question about who Continue reading How Should Inference Work?
At the end of my last essay I said I had recently concluded that the jump to a fully automated pharma supply chain upstream visibility system is too big and complex to be achievable by every company in the U.S. supply chain by the California dates. I want to explain that statement in a future essay (soon), but before I do I want to explore some of the track and trace models that are being considered by both GS1 and the FDA. I particularly want to look at the viability of each model because I think we will find that some just aren’t (viable), and that will help narrow the search.
I’ll look at the three basic models that the FDA mentioned in their recent workshop: Centralized, Semi-Centralized and Distributed (or Decentralized as the FDA called it). There are others, but it seems that they can all be either based on, or reduced to, one of these three basic models.
In this essay I am looking at track & trace models from a global viewpoint, which is something that GS1 is doing but the FDA may not. Attacks on the pharma supply chain are a global problem and global problems demand global solutions or gaps will be left for criminals to exploit.
GS1’s goal is to develop standards that apply globally as much as possible and the FDA will likely find that Continue reading The Viability of Global Track & Trace Models