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Someone Call a Handyman Before 2015

October 29, 2008 – 3:51 pm

“The recall system is broke and needs fixing,” reports the California State Board of Pharmacy’s Enforcement Committee.  In October the board began discussing opportunities for recall procedure improvements with hospital pharmacists. In late spring, the board found 94 hospital pharmacies in California that still stocked recalled heparin.

But will pharmacists alone have the answers? Probably not. The board itself told an audience at the 4th Global Forum on Pharmaceutical Anticounterfeiting in June that had California’s electronic pedigree rules been in effect, “wholesalers could have been specific in such recalls.”

With the e-pedigree law delayed until 2015, will recalled products continue to risk patient health? It seems possible. There might not be a direct cause-and-effect link, but item tracking seems awfully difficult without item-level identifiers.

Daphne Allen

  1. 3 Responses to “Someone Call a Handyman Before 2015”

  2. Item level tracking would admittedly be ideal…but why not start with something that is already available? If wholesalers were required to track lot numbers, you would have to ability to know which pharmacies purchased the pharmaceutical items that are subject to the recall.

    By Mark on Dec 16, 2008

  3. Thank you for your response. I agree that utilizing an existing numbering scheme would be a good place to start. I actually thought that was already taking place with wholesalers and pharmacies.
    But clearly lot-based tracking wasn’t enough for those hospital pharmacies called out by California. Were they lax, perhaps? Or just overwhelmed?
    I do think that unique numbers could enable manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacies, and other supply-chain partners to track the location and disposition of every drug item. It would take tremendous effort—as well as tremendous cooperation.

    By dallen on Dec 23, 2008

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