Tag Archives: serialization

DSCSA: Verification Systems Draft Guidance

Verification is an important part of the operation of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), and from my observation, it isn’t understood very well.  People new to the DSCSA always think “verification” means something beyond what the actual definition is in the law.  Late last week the FDA published new draft guidance describing their current thinking about the “verification systems” that members of the supply chain are required by the DSCSA to have in place.  It’s an important draft because I suspect not many companies have “verification systems” that have the kind of capabilities spelled out by the FDA.  Of course, as usual, it’s only a draft, not for implementation but for comment only.  You have until December 24, 2018 to submit comments for consideration by the FDA as they someday make this guidance final. Continue reading DSCSA: Verification Systems Draft Guidance

DSCSA Uniqueness: SNI vs SGTIN

In case you didn’t see my note at the end of my essay a few weeks ago, I am publishing new, free-to-everyone, RxTrace essays, one per month, on the Center For Supply Chain Studies (C4SCS) community website under the “Tune In | Monthly Slice of RxTrace” heading.  In fact, there are now two new essays there.  I’m finding that they are getting little notice there, so I have decided to post short intro essays, like this one, here on RxTrace.com whenever I post a new essay on the C4SCS website.  That way everyone here will get notified and can easily find them with a single click.

October’s essay is quite good.  It discusses the differences between the SGTIN that drug manufacturers put on their packages and the SNI that the DSCSA requires them to put there, and the implications of those differences.  It’s a very timely topic, I think you’ll agree. Continue reading DSCSA Uniqueness: SNI vs SGTIN

Personalized Medicines In A Serialized World

3d render of T cells attacking cancer cells

The era of personalized medicines has begun.  These are medicines that are tailored specifically for a single patient, using that patient’s specific DNA or other blood characteristic as a guide or actual source component.  The new chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CAR-T) is an exciting example.  It results in the conversion of a patient’s own T-cells into cells that are able to recognize the specific type of cancer cells that the patient has, and thus able to attack them in the same way that normal T-cells attack normal infectious cells.  In short, it’s a way of manipulating a person’s own immune system to attack cancer cells that it would normally be blind to.  When it works, the results can be breathtaking.  The question is, how are these drugs treated under today’s serialization and tracing regulations?  Let’s take a look. Continue reading Personalized Medicines In A Serialized World

HDA Responds To FDA Waivers, Exceptions, Exemptions Draft Guidance

Unlike the implication of this drawing, FDA does hear and care about submitted comments.

The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) recently posted their response to the latest draft Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) guidance published by the FDA.  That draft guidance explains how, when and why companies in the US pharma supply chain can apply for waivers, exemptions and exceptions to provisions in the DSCSA (see “FDA Draft Guidance: How To Apply For A Waiver, Exception or Exemption”).  As usual, the HDA took close to the full sixty day comment period to respond.  The comment period closed last Monday. Continue reading HDA Responds To FDA Waivers, Exceptions, Exemptions Draft Guidance

I Receive My First Serialized Drug From My Pharmacy: Is It Right?

Click image to enlarge

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?

The 2 Most Helpful Requirements In The DSCSA

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

DSCSA Guidance: Definitions of Suspect and Illegitimate Product for Verification Obligations

As I mentioned last week, the FDA published two new draft DSCSA guidance documents on the day of the recent FDA DSCSA Public Meeting (see “FDA DSCSA Public Meeting #3: A Difference?”).  Let’s take a closer look at what’s in them and their significance to companies facing the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).  I’ll cover one of the two in this essay and cover the other document in the next essay. Continue reading DSCSA Guidance: Definitions of Suspect and Illegitimate Product for Verification Obligations

The Most Head-Scratching Section Of The FMD

I found this sealed OTC product in my own closet. Note the round clear adhesive seal between the four yellow arrows. Would this anti-tamper seal render this product illegal in the EU after next February?

Just after I posted my last FMD essay on RxTrace (see “FMD, One Year Out”) I found out that the European Commission had published version 9 of their “Safety Features for Medicinal Products for Human Use, Questions and Answers”.  This is must reading for anyone with questions about how to interpret the most confusing provisions of the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) (also known as EU Directive 2011/62 and which amends Directive 2001/83) and the Delegated Regulation (EUDR) (also known as EU Regulation No 2016/161) (see “The E.C. Officially Published The Pharma Safety Feature Delegated Act This Morning“).

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