March 17, 2022
ARLINGTON, Va. — Updated survey data released today by the HDA Research Foundation indicate that healthcare supply chain partners remain in the formative stages of establishing the interoperable transaction data connections required to comply with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) by November 27, 2023. However, some progress has been made since a previous survey conducted last spring.
The Foundation’s latest EPCIS Implementation Benchmarking Survey assesses industry progress of adopting GS1 Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) and trading partner plans for sending data. EPCIS currently is the only widely recognized international standard that allows supply chain partners to share DSCSA-required data in a secure, electronic and interoperable manner.
“The Foundation's updated survey seeks to inform industry trading partners on the evolving status of successful data connections — those that are fully integrated and working in production,” said Perry Fri, Executive Vice President, Industry Relations, Membership & Education, HDA; and COO of the HDA Research Foundation. “Clearly, industry stakeholders have made important decisions and progress since last spring, but establishing EPCIS connections remains a slow and complex process.”
The survey reflects data collected in the fourth quarter of 2021, with responses across pharmaceutical supply chain stakeholders, including 40 manufacturers, 16 distributors and four third-party logistics providers. Among the updates from the last survey:
“Supply chain partners have their work cut out for them over the next six quarters. While we acknowledge that many manufacturers have made progress to exchange data via EPCIS, very few are sending it in production,” said Justine Freisleben, Vice President, Industry Relations, HDA. “With more companies relying on solution providers to connect, open lines of communication and coordination with distributors will be key — especially since a third-party connection adds a layer of complexity, and no dispensers are connected today. Reversing the perceived lack of trading partner commitment and resources also will be important to ensure the continued safety and reliability of the U.S. healthcare supply chain beyond 2023.”
The HDA Research Foundation’s EPCIS Implementation Benchmarking Survey, sponsored by AmerisourceBergen, Antares Vision Group, LSPediA and Two Labs, is available as a complimentary download.
Subsequent surveys will be coordinated by HDA in collaboration with the EPCIS Center of Excellence (COE). The COE is a partnership between leading serialization service providers with the goal of accelerating progress and helping industry reach interoperability and 2023 compliance through adoption of standards.
The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) represents primary pharmaceutical distributors — the vital link between the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide. Since 1876, HDA has helped members navigate regulations and innovations to get the right medicines to the right patients at the right time, safely and efficiently. The HDA Research Foundation, HDA’s nonprofit charitable foundation, serves the healthcare industry by providing research and education focused on priority healthcare supply chain issues.