Several states, including California and Florida, are seeking to impose legislative requirements for establishment of a detailed paper trail for each prescription drug sold. The federal Prescription Drug Marketing Act also requires such a system, but objections by the industry have delayed implementation.
The association proposed, instead, implementing electronic authentication in stages, with a simplified information infrastructure allowing RFID issues to be resolved, but also providing immediate safety benefits during the implementation period. Coupled with a paper pedigree system to fill in the authentication gaps, the approach would offer immediate benefits and safeguards, PhRMA said.
The Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA), which represents distributors of prescription drug products, said it was encouraged by both FDA and PhRMA statements.
"HDMA strongly believes that technologies such as EPC/RFID play an important role in securing the prescription drug supply, though we agree with FDA and PhRMA that no single solution will prevent drug counterfeiting," said HDMA President and CEO John M. Gray. He said his group would continue working with distributor members, manufacturers, pharmacies and lawmakers to develop and implement a multi--pronged anti--counterfeiting solution.