Trouble in PDMA-Land

  • by: |
  • 01/17/2007
A federal court judge has imposed a temporary injunction against the FDA over the agency's drug pedigree requirements, on the basis that the regulations leave sections of the supply chain unguarded and threaten the survival of smaller drug distributors.

Here’s a link to the complete story:

The Prescription Drug Marketing Act (PDMA), originally put into force in 1988, outlines the requirement for a drug pedigree – a statement of origin that identifies each prior sale, purchase or trade of a drug right back to the manufacturer. However, Authorized Distributors (ADs) are exempt from having to provide pedigrees for the drugs they provide, thus leaving sections of the supply chain unmonitored and pedigrees hard to establish further down the line. Authorized distributors are somewhat hazily defined as those who have ongoing relationships with manufacturers, identifiable by evidence of repeated transactions with the manufacturer. Over 90 per cent of the drug wholesale industry in the US is controlled by a handful of companies who are authorized distributors. This group is commonly referred to as the Big Five, made up of McKesson, Bergen Brunswig, AmeriSource, Cardinal Health and Bindley Western.

The exemption means that ADs tend not to maintain or pass on pedigrees for the products they obtain from manufacturers. This becomes problematic when those further down the supply chain, ‘unauthorized’ distributors for example, are required to provide pedigrees right back to the manufacturer. It also means that over 90 per cent of the prescription drugs in the US are essentially uncovered by the PDMA’s security measures.

This issue is further exacerbated by the fact that ADs are not required to provide a pedigree even if they themselves obtained the products from a secondary wholesaler. The FDA themselves noted that some drugs may go through several transaction cycles involving multiple primary and secondary wholesalers before arriving at their retail destination. According to the National Wholesale Druggists’ Association, the Big Five purchase 2-4 per cent of their products from sources other than manufacturers, and one of the group reported that $350 million of their total inventory came from non-manufacturer vendors.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

Blog Roll

Alliance for Patient Access Alternative Health Practice
Better Health
Biotech Blog
CA Medicine man
Cafe Pharma
Campaign for Modern Medicines
Carlat Psychiatry Blog
Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look
Conservative's Forum
Club For Growth
Diabetes Mine
Disruptive Women
Doctors For Patient Care
Dr. Gov
Drug Channels
DTC Perspectives
Envisioning 2.0
FDA Law Blog
Fierce Pharma
Fresh Air Fund
Furious Seasons
Gel Health News
Hands Off My Health
Health Business Blog
Health Care BS
Health Care for All
Healthy Skepticism
Hooked: Ethics, Medicine, and Pharma
Hugh Hewitt
In the Pipeline
In Vivo
Internet Drug News
Jaz'd Healthcare
Jaz'd Pharmaceutical Industry
Jim Edwards' NRx
Kaus Files
Laffer Health Care Report
Little Green Footballs
Med Buzz
Media Research Center
More than Medicine
National Review
Neuroethics & Law
Nurses For Reform
Nurses For Reform Blog
Opinion Journal
Orange Book
Peter Rost
Pharm Aid
Pharma Blog Review
Pharma Blogsphere
Pharma Marketing Blog
Pharmacology Corner
Pharmaceutical Business Review
Piper Report
Prescription for a Cure
Public Plan Facts
Real Clear Politics
Shark Report
Shearlings Got Plowed
Taking Back America
Terra Sigillata
The Cycle
The Catalyst
The Lonely Conservative
Town Hall
Washington Monthly
World of DTC Marketing
WSJ Health Blog