Pharmaceutical serialization has been looked upon as a panacea for the rampant global issue of counterfeiting. Now that enforcement data has become available on the US Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) and EU Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD), it’s time analyze the results. Has serialization put an end to counterfeiting?
Spoiler alert. According to the EU IP Office, pharmaceutical counterfeiting has not slowed down, but is a growing threat.
Liquid Gold. That's how Interpol has described organized crime's view of vaccine demand. The more in demand a product is, the more it will be counterfeited. We can count on an absolute tidal wave of COVID vaccine and treatment counterfeiting to flood the markets now that the vaccine is available.
Serialization was introduced by governments as a mechanism to protect the pharmaceutical supply chain over 10 years ago. Major serialization mandates in the US, EU and other regions are now live. Now is a good time to reflect back on this massive undertaking and review some “lessons learned”. We say this because serialization isn’t “over” in pharma.
It is one thing to mandate the printing of serialized barcodes on pharmaceutical packaging, and quite another to properly print these barcodes on said packaging to meet compliance.
Earlier this year, the FDA called on the life sciences and healthcare industry to design and deliver pilot projects for an electronic, interoperable system that can identify and trace prescription drugs as they are distributed across the United States in support of the DSCSA. Systech partnered with several industry innovators to respond to the FDA’s proposal including RxTransparent, T-Systems, FarmaTrust, CryptoWerk and CalQLogic.
On March 25, 2019 the Prescription Drug Security Alliance (PDSA) published the first of three white papers that describe their proposal for establishing a new, non-profit governance organization that would be responsible for ensuring interoperability of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) solutions. This first paper is called “A Proposal: Governance for DSCSA Phase II Interoperability”. In addition, PDSA also published another paper called “An Overview: PDSA Vision for Phase II...
From now through November 2020, the deadlines for meeting the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) happen every year. The pace of change has accelerated and companies need to remain vigilant to stay compliant. Fortunately, there are three important new DSCSA resources that became available in the last two weeks.
Last month, GS1 US published a report on a DSCSA barcode assessment they conducted last year with two of the largest wholesale distributors in the US, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson. The goal of the assessment was to take a “snapshot” of pharmaceutical manufacturer progress toward meeting the serialization requirement of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) by analyzing drug packages actually in the market.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers are working non-stop to get the serialization systems in place necessary to meet the USA DSCSA mandate going live this November, and the EU FMD mandate going live the following February of 2019. If serialization projects aren’t in full flight at this time, there is a significant chance that a manufacturer will not meet the deadline, not be compliant and not be able to distribute product in those geographies.