Drug Manufacturers Face Tighter Supply Chain Rules

Image via Flickr by Steve Snodgrass

Drugs manufacturers in the U.S. have always had to follow strict regulations, but things are about to get even tighter. The Drug Quality and Security Act sets forth new rules for drug manufacturers to follow in their supply chains in relation to labeling and tracking drugs. It goes into full effect on January 1, 2015.

The new drug manufacturing rules were created by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They are designed to protect people from buying unauthentic drugs which could put their health at risk. Currently, consumers have lots of options when it comes to where they can buy their drugs. Many are turning to the Internet. Unfortunately, this opens up the possibility of buying drugs from sources where the drugs are not traceable and there is no way of ensuring they are authentic.

Drug regulations are not as tight in other countries as in the U.S., and in some cases they are non-existent. That’s where the worry of unauthentic drugs originated. Siobhan O’Bara, Senior V.P. of Industry Engagement at GS1, told the Wall Street Journal, “The Drug Quality and Security Act will make sure the drug you are getting is the drug the manufacturer produced and that every set of hands that touched it in the supply chain didn’t compromise it at all.”

Drug manufactures must now label all of their packaging with traceable numbers. This will prevent unauthentic manufacturers from creating copycat drugs that are not regulated. This also gives consumers a way of knowing that their drugs actually came from the manufacturer. Additionally, drug manufacturers must document all workers at every checkpoint in their supply chain to prevent breaches during manufacturing.

Drug manufacturing rules are now tighter, but it’s good news for people who worry about drug authenticity. Starting in January, make sure you see the tracking number on your drugs.

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