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?
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!
As someone who often attempts to explain truth and reality through writing, I can really appreciate the writing skill of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (see “Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.”). I’ve learned that the best writing has to come from your heart just as much as it does from your head, but I still make mistakes that I don’t expect to see in Dr. King’s writing. Last week is an example. By attending the Healthcare Distribution Alliance’s (HDA’s) Verification Router Services (VRS) Task Force meeting in Crystal City, Virginia, I learned more about HDA’s intentions for the design of the VRS. Continue reading First Meeting of the HDA Verification Router Service Task Force
The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) Traceability Seminar that was held back in early November was so packed with valuable information that I still have a number of topics queued up from that event for RxTrace essays in the future. Today I want to take a closer look at the results of the Saleable Returns Pilots conducted by the HDA last year to figure out the most efficient way to verify saleable returns. I discussed the overall project in my report of the Traceability Seminar (see “HDA Delivers Home Run To Record-Breaking Audience”) but today I want to focus in on just two of the approaches piloted. These are:
- Manufacturer sends to wholesale distributor product identifiers for only the units purchased by that wholesale distributor, and,
- Verification Router Service (VRS).
One of the focuses of RxTrace is to explore global pharma serialization and tracing regulations in an attempt to discover some of their implications. Some implications turn out to be obvious, but some turn out to be surprising. Identifying the implications early provides us with a better understanding of what to expect from our investments in time to fine-tune those investments. If company leaders have a realistic understanding of what to expect from different investments, they will make better decisions for their stakeholders. Can they expect to be fully compliant? Only partly compliant, thus needing to spend more down the road? Will they be fully compliant with the law, but disappoint their primary customers and thus find that their business takes a hit? If they have a good idea of what to expect before they Continue reading Sponsored: Will Global Serialization Mandates Result In Less Counterfeiting?
Part 1 of this essay provided a wealth of hyperlinks into the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and FDA guidance documents with content related to placing the National Drug Code in human- and machine-readable form onto drug packages prior to November 27, 2017 (see “Is A GS1 GTIN Really Usable As An NDC For DSCSA Compliance? Part 1”). In Part 2, we will look at how the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) will change, or add-to, the requirements found in those earlier specifications. And finally, we will be able to answer the question in the essay title.
HOW THE DSCSA CHANGES THE NDC AND BARCODE REQUIREMENTS FOR DRUG PACKAGES
First of all, the DSCSA does not change anything Continue reading Is A GS1 GTIN Really Usable As An NDC For DSCSA Compliance? Part 2
After November 27, 2017 the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) requires drug manufacturers (2018 for repackagers) to affix a DSCSA “product identifier” to all drug packages entering the supply chain (see “The DSCSA Product Identifier On Drug Packages”). According to the DSCSA, that product identifier must be present in both human-readable and 2D Data Matrix barcode forms. Part of that product identifier is what is known as a Standardized Numerical Identifier (SNI). The SNI is composed of the drug’s National Drug Code (NDC) and a serial number (see “DSCSA ‘Serial Numbers’”) that is unique on every individual package of that drug (see “FDA Aligns with GS1 SGTIN For SNDC” and “Anatomy Of An FDA SNI”).
Lately, I’ve heard people in the industry claim that it is acceptable to use a GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) that encapsulates an NDC (see “Depicting An NDC Within A GTIN”) to satisfy the NDC part of this DSCSA requirement to affix the product identifier on a drug package. I’m not so sure about that. Let me explain. Continue reading Is A GS1 GTIN Really Usable As An NDC For DSCSA Compliance? Part 1
Almost everyone agrees that GS1’s Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) standard will be used by drug manufacturers and the large wholesale distributors in the United States for compliance with the serialization requirement of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). Even I think that (see “Will EPCIS Event Exchange Replace EDI ASNs for DSCSA Someday?”). But there is a problem that could kill its use beyond the internal uses of today, keeping it from being used for data exchange or the data repositories that will eventually become the way data is “exchanged” in 2023 as part of the Enhanced Drug Distribution Security (EDDS) phase of the DSCSA.
The problem is, EPCIS defaults to the use of a single location identifier, the GS1 Global Location Number (GLN). So what? Why is that a problem? Let me explain. Continue reading GLN: The Lowly Identifier That Could Kill The Use Of EPCIS For Pharma Regulatory Compliance
As serialization mandates sweep the world you would think that drug manufacturers and repackagers would just deploy one generic “serialization application” and simply turn it on for any drugs that requires it, and turn it off for any that do not. That’s probably what the legislatures and regulators who create the requirements think. RxTrace readers know it’s not nearly that easy.
The problem is that every regulation requires something different. The only common thread is that there is always a “serial number” requirement in there somewhere (thus the name). But the serial number itself is usually defined differently and everything else that surrounds the serial number is often not the same. It’s not a matter of just turning it on and off, it’s a matter of changing a bunch of parameters, which result in significantly more complexity in the setup, testing and validation of the system for each market. Continue reading Meeting U.S. and E.U. Drug Serialization Requirements With A Single Solution