As the DSCSA rolls out, pharmacists play a crucial role protecting patients and the integrity of the drug supply

Under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act, pharmacists must follow certain requirements to protect patients from receiving counterfeit or substandard drugs. These include:

Verifying licensing or registration for trading partners:

  • Check manufacturers' and repackagers' registration
  • Check wholesale distributors' and third-party logistics providers' licensing.
  • Check the licensing of pharmacies through the respective state authority.

Managing tracing documentation

Pharmacies can only accept prescription drugs with the correct product tracing documentation: the transaction information, history, and statement. If the trading partner you purchased the drugs from does not provide all this documentation, work with them to promptly get it.

Pharmacies are also responsible for maintaining this documentation in paper or electronic format for six years, and must provide it to trading partners if you sell them a prescription drug.

Investigating and properly handling suspect and illegitimate drugs

Pharmacies must investigate and handle suspicious prescription drugs, including those that may be counterfeit, diverted, stolen, intentionally adulterated, otherwise unfit for distribution. When faced with a suspect product, pharmacists must quarantine and investigate the prescription drugs to determine if they are illegitimate.

If they are illegitimate, pharmacies should work with the manufacturer and take specific steps to ensure patients do not receive the illegitimate drugs.

Pharmacies must also notify FDA and the trading partners they bought the drug from and sold the drug to.

Are you part of a group of pharmacists looking for training on the DSCSA? Email us at editors@safemedicines.org.

Click on the image above to watch a video on how DSCSA T3 data is already protecting patients

This flyer from the FDA reviews pharmacists' responsibilities under the DSCSA.  The FDA maintains  resources for pharmacists here.