Tag Archives: serialization

3 DSCSA Requirements You Can Totally Ignore

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


Last week the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) submitted nine pages of comments in response to the FDA’s Request For Comments in docket number FDA-2017-N-3857 (find their submission here).  It is worthwhile for you to read because the HDA generally sets the gold standard for detailed analysis of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), and because this one is particularly pertinent to discussions going on at the FDA and around the industry right now. Continue reading HDA Schools FDA On DSCSA

DSCSA: The U.S. Pharma Supply Chain Must Organize, Or Risk Failure, Again

iStock_000021010135XSmallA 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.

Fast forward to today.  Rather than data exchange standards, the FDA is facing Continue reading DSCSA: The U.S. Pharma Supply Chain Must Organize, Or Risk Failure, Again

FDA Announces New DSCSA Pilot Program and Public Meeting Series

Yesterday the FDA published a preview of two announcements related to the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).  One was announcing a new pilot program, “…to assist in development of the electronic, interoperable system that will identify and trace certain prescription drugs as these are distributed within the United States.”  That is, the system that will comprise the “Enhanced Drug Distribution Security” (EDDS) system in 2023.  The other announcement was for a series of DSCSA public meetings—also intended to work on the system in 2023.  Both announcements include a docket for use by stakeholders and the public to submit written comments to the FDA. Continue reading FDA Announces New DSCSA Pilot Program and Public Meeting Series

Serial Number Bonding

There are some discontinuities between the needs of the industry for meeting serialization regulations around the world and certain GS1 standards, including their Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) and Core Business Vocabulary (CBV) standards.  I’ve already pointed out the issue of EPCIS expecting everyone who uses it to possess, by default, a GS1 Global Location Number (GLN) (see “GLN: The Lowly Identifier That Could Kill The Use Of EPCIS For Pharma Regulatory Compliance”).  Here is one more. Continue reading Serial Number Bonding

FDA Delays UDI and FSMA: What About DSCSA?

Image of November 27, 2017 calendarA few weeks ago I predicted that the FDA would soon announce a delay in enforcement of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) November 27, 2017 deadline for serialization of drug packages (see “FDA Tea Leaves: Are They About To Delay The November Deadline?”, see also “Breaking: FDA Official Offers Advice In Absence Of DSCSA Waiver Guidance”).  As I said, I don’t have any “inside information”, I’m just looking at the evidence that we can all see.  I provided links to the public information I used for evidence so you can decide for yourself.  Don’t just take my word for it.  It is entirely speculation.

Now there is new evidence that the FDA is in a “delay” mood these days.  In the last 4 business days the FDA has Continue reading FDA Delays UDI and FSMA: What About DSCSA?

Is Your Drug Too Small For The Mandated 2D Barcode?

Is your Drug Too Small?  Sample vial and syringe with barcode attached.
As an experiment, I taped the smallest DSCSA-compliant 2D barcode I could define to these sample vial and syringe from CCL Label. Notice that neither sample includes the required human readable text of the data encoded in the barcode, which means that these examples may not comply in some markets. The barcode on the vial is readable, but the one on the syringe is not readable because of the short radius of the barrel (about 5mm).

RxTrace readers are already well aware that multiple new laws around the world will require prescription drug manufacturers to put a new 2D barcode on their products in the next few years.  But what if your drug package is too small to fit the new mandated 2D barcode and human readable information on the label?  Let’s take a look at what the regulations say in the E.U., Brazil and the United States.  From that, we can come up with some strategies. Continue reading Is Your Drug Too Small For The Mandated 2D Barcode?

Will Manufacturers Have Trouble Verifying Some Drugs Next Year?

I recently wrote about several letters sent to the FDA by the Pharmaceutical Distribution Security Alliance (PDSA) regarding the overdue guidance documents (see “In Absence Of FDA Guidance, Follow PDSA Recommendations”).  I highly recommend that you read those letters.  But there was one letter from the PDSA to the FDA that I did not reference in that essay because it is not related to missing guidance.  Instead, it’s about PDSA’s fear about the potential inability of some manufacturers to verify, in the DSCSA sense, certain drugs between now and November of 2019.  To be exact, the type of verification they are worried about is the kind that will be based on a drug’s Standardized Numerical Identifier (SNI). Continue reading Will Manufacturers Have Trouble Verifying Some Drugs Next Year?