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?→
There are lots of impactful requirements in the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), but there are two whose impact will likely increase the safety of patients far more than all of the others. That is, they are the most helpful requirements. Do they include serialization? Verification? Transaction documentation? Wholesaler and 3PL licensing? Not even close.
The two requirements that I believe will have the biggest impact on the safety of drugs in the US supply chain are the requirement to only engage in transactions with authorized trading partners, and the lot number being included in the 2D barcode. Let me explain. Continue reading The 2 Most Helpful Requirements In The DSCSA→
With each major revision this Q&A document grows. This time it grew substantially with the addition of 21 new questions and answers and updates to four previously posted answers.
But there is one provision of the FMD that defies explanation, even though the Q&A document burns two Q&As to attempt it. That provision in the FMD is Section 1 of Article 45a, which basically says, in part, that you cannot put an anti-tamper device on non-prescription drugs unless the EC or a Member State specifically says you can. What’s going on here? Continue reading The Most Head-Scratching Section Of The FMD→
Last month GS1 US published the results of an assessment of the implementation progress by drug manufacturers of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) serialization requirements. It contains troubling indications of the next problem the industry will face in its quest for DSCSA compliance: too many unusable barcodes.
The Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) was constructed back in 2013 by Congressional staff, with input from the FDA, members of the industry and who knows who else. There was one bill in the House of Representatives and a different bill in the Senate. Once these bills passed their respective houses, they formed a conference committee who merged the two bills into the final text that we know today as the DQSA (see “It’s Official, President Obama Signs H.R. 3204, DQSA, Into Law”). Chapter 2 of that act is the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). Most readers of RxTrace haven’t forgotten that history but it is important to look back at that history to explain why most companies can ignore certain requirements in the law. That’s right. There are requirements in the law that you can ignore because they will not be enforced by anyone. They are the result of the disjoint way the DQSA was written. Let me explain. Continue reading 3 DSCSA Requirements You Can Totally Ignore→
A couple of days before President Obama signed the DQSA legislation back in 2013 I published an RxTrace essay that looked at what was going to be necessary in the next year from the FDA and the industry (see “DQSA: The U.S. Pharma Supply Chain Must Organize, Or Risk Failure“). The initial standards necessary at that time were for data exchange, and the FDA had one year to come up with them. My essay was about the need for the industry to work with the FDA to come up with the standards that would work. The FDA didn’t have the expertise or the knowledge of how the supply chain operated and so I felt it was imperative for the industry to help them out.
DISCLAIMER: RxTrace contains some of the personal thoughts, ideas and opinions of Dirk Rodgers. The material contained in RxTrace is not legal advice. Dirk Rodgers is not a lawyer. The reader must make their own decisions about the accuracy of the opinions expressed in RxTrace. Readers are encouraged to consult their own legal counsel and trading partners before taking any actions based on information found in RxTrace. RxTrace is not a vehicle for communicating the positions of any company, organization or individual other than Dirk Rodgers.