EPCIS is a strategy – but not in time for November

By March 21, 2019 DSCSA, Industry Insight, VRS

Let’s take a moment to check the LSPediA Saleable Returns countdown clock, ticking away right here:

Between now and Nov. 27 – when the DSCSA requires all wholesale distributors to verify saleable returns with the manufacturer – only about 250 days remain. That’s 36 weeks or what will be a very short 8 months for manufacturers and distributors to make sure they’ve got compatible, working systems to exchange product identifiers –  or lose access to the $11 billion annual market in selling returned drugs.

That’s why I’m surprised when people working in the drug supply chain tell me they expect to rely on exchanging EPCIS data to meet the deadline. While EPCIS is a very effective standard for sharing tracking and inventory data, there’s no way an EPCIS solution is going to work in time for saleable returns.

No way.

The reason is simple: Many, many manufacturers won’t be making EPCIS data available to their trading partners. And the obvious result? Any distributor relying solely on exchanging EPCIS data is going to be out of luck.

Many manufacturers won’t send EPCIS data

LSPediA’s own survey last month revealed that nearly 40 percent of the manufacturers we polled will be exclusively depending on a Verification Router Service and won’t be sharing EPCIS data at all.

Our research echoes the findings presented in November at the Healthcare Distribution Alliance’s Traceability Seminar in Washington, D.C. The data presented there showed that:

  • 33% of manufacturers plan to send EPCIS data for all products by Nov. 27, 2019 – leaving two-thirds of drug manufacturers missing the deadline, unsure how they’ll comply, or refusing to share EPCIS information;
  • 36% of manufacturers plan to send EPCIS files, but 42% plan to use VRS. So, once again, any distributor setting up an EPCIS-only system is going to be locked out from verifying products with most drug manufacturers.

In fact, the conference panel, which included wholesale distributor representatives, recommended that manufacturers use VRS technology unless their business partners can absolutely guarantee they can handle EPCIS files and will handle their own verification. This is why we’ve seen VRS emerging as the preferred industry solution to verify saleable returns and demonstrate complete interoperability.

More companies are choosing VRS

Not only is VRS preferred, it’s also easier and faster to implement. We developed LSPediA’s Verifier® VRS solution to be completely compatible with all other systems and products, as a stand-alone, turnkey solution. Why go to the trouble of setting up your own network to retrieve and share product identifiers when there’s a plug-and-play system ready to go?

Since introducing Verifier® in December, we’ve already completely more than 50,000 successful individual product scans, sparing our clients the tedious work of building their own EPCIS network. You can learn all about Verifier® and see it in action in our VRS Webinar Replay, arrange your own showing, or request a live demo now.

Nearly 90 percent of returned drugs can be resold, which accounts for as much as 3 percent of annual sales for some distributors. If you want to retain that revenue, just remember – the countdown clock is ticking.

About LSPediA

LSPediA is a leading supply chain software provider for the pharmaceutical industry. LSPediA’s serialization solution RxChain®, RxChain™ Mobile, and Verifier® VRS protect pharma companies against regulatory risks and improve supply chain efficiency. Pharmaceutical manufacturers, wholesale distributors, dispensers, and healthcare providers partner with LSPediA to manage serial data, distribute serialized drug products, verify the validity of the drug product. To learn more, please call (248) 973-2008, email info@lspedia.com, or visit www.lspedia.com

LSPediA is a leading supply chain software provider for the pharmaceutical industry. LSPediA’s serialization solution RxChain®, RxChain™ Mobile, and Verifier® VRS protect pharma companies against regulatory risks and improve supply chain efficiency. Pharmaceutical manufacturers, wholesale distributors, dispensers, and healthcare providers partner with LSPediA to manage serial data, distribute serialized drug products, verify the validity of the drug product. To learn more, please call (248) 973-2008, email info@lspedia.com, or visit www.lspedia.com.