Last week, innovators and movers from the healthcare distribution industry got together in Phoenix, Arizona, for the HDA’s signature event—the 2017 Business and Leadership Conference (BLC). As expected, there was a lot to take in, and some big news was announced regarding the DSCSA and serialization.
HDA Origin: A Master Data Solution
This past March at the Distribution Management Conference, the HDA debuted its GTIN repository service, Origin. HDA developed the solution in collaboration with Value Centric, a provider of channel data management and analytic solutions to the healthcare industry. Origin is designed to manage pharmaceutical master data for products distributed in the U.S. and is scheduled for general release in July 2017. During BLC, Value Centric staff showed off the solution at the Origin booth, answering questions from manufacturers eager to learn about the benefits and capabilities.
Origin appears to be a valuable tool for pharmaceutical businesses operating in the DSCSA era. But, as some have pointed out already, only if manufacturers adopt Origin in large numbers can the solution function as intended. If alignment across the industry is strong, Origin can indeed become the centralized product catalog for GTINs. This would benefit distributors, pharmacies, and dispensers such as hospitals, healthcare providers, and clinics. For more on the importance of mater data, see our DSCSA To-List, Part 1.)
Update on Verification Router Services
Verification Router Services (VRS) came out of the HDA pilot program last year. The service has gained traction with distributors as they consider alternatives to verifying returns without the manufacturer’s serial data. Here’s the concept in a nutshell: A manufacturer stores all of its product identifier information in a local system, which connects to a third-party routing service. Upon receiving a saleable return, the distributor captures the product data and sends the data to this third-party router service, which then routes the query to the appropriate manufacturer’s database.
Several distributors, manufacturers, and solution providers (including LSPediA) present at last week’s BLC also attended the HDA’s Industry Stakeholder Meeting for VRS back in May. That meeting produced a VRS user requirement specification (URS), and brought up a number of questions about how the URS could be turned into a functional requirement specification. Such specifications would be very useful for solution providers, LSPediA included, as we prepare to start research and development work around VRS. Those questions are still open at this point, so URS was a hot topic in hallway conversations at BLC.
Manufacturers and Serialization Readiness
Another important conversion was taking place at BLC—this one between distributor serialization teams and their manufacturing suppliers. As you may know, many distributors are actively asking manufacturers to submit DSCSA labels and EPCIS data for testing. So far, these early label tests have revealed that only a small percentage of labels are GS1 compliant, which means that distributors aren’t able to read most of the labels out there. This has major negative repercussions, both for distributors and everyone operating downstream in the supply chain.
As to the EPCIS data testing, the main issue is still availability – less than half of the manufacturers are able to provide such data. Many companies have not yet embarked on serial warehouse solutions, which would allow them to aggregate shipments. Some who rely on 3PLs to perform such tasks are challenged by their 3PLs’ commitment and speed to implement.
In my opinion, a serialized warehouse can unlock a lot of value for manufacturers, 3PLs, distributors, and retailers. It increases inventory controls, improves automation, and eliminates waste. This is why our RxChain solution, with its robust serial warehouse capabilities, has made such a big impact for our customers. We’ve seen over and over again how RxChain helps our customers not only meet regulatory compliance standards, but drive supply chain efficiency. It allows our customers to stop viewing DSCSA as a burden, and helps them see it as an opportunity.
Here’s just a summary of what RxChain can help you accomplish:
- Drive productivity with mobility – run RxChain on scanners, cameras, and phone
- Automate inbound, pick-pack-ship, and return processes
- Track and control events by serial numbers and by transactions
Partner with LSPediA for DSCSA Compliance and a Competitive Edge
Complying with regulations and meeting standards around serialization and traceability is a complicated task. It’s also one of the most important tasks your business undertakes. Your reputation with partners and patients, and your bottom line, are all at stake. If you need a guide to get you started and see you through to DSCSA compliance, contact LSPediA. We can ensure you understand and successfully implement GS1 standards, a DSCSA strategy, and serialization solutions.