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20 Feb 2014

FDA Initiates the Secure Supply Chain Pilot Programme to Enhance Security of Imported Drugs

FDA is announcing the initiation of the Secure Supply Chain Pilot Program to enhance the security of imported drugs. In August 2013, FDA published a notice in the Federal Register (78 FR 51192) to solicit companies to voluntarily submit applications for participation in this 2-year programme. Thirteen prequalified companies have now been designated to take part, and will receive expedited entry for the importation of up to five selected drug products into the US.


The goal of the programme is to enable FDA to evaluate resource savings that will allow the agency to focus imports surveillance resources on preventing the entry of high-risk drugs that are the most likely to compromise the quality and safety of the US drug supply.


“By creating incentives for manufacturers to adopt best practices for supply chain integrity, we can enhance the quality and safety of imported drugs,” said Carol Bennett, acting director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The programme also allows FDA to focus resources on the areas with the greatest potential risk to consumers.” 

During these next 2 years, FDA will evaluate the programme’s effectiveness at enhancing imported drug compliance with FDA regulations and the security of the drug supply chain. If the FDA determines the programme to be effective, a more permanent programme may be established and possibly extended to additional participating companies.


The prequalified companies accepted into the programme that will receive expedited entry, are the following:

• AbbVie Inc.
• Allergan, Inc.
• Astellas US Technologies, Inc.
• Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
• Celgene Corporation
• GE Healthcare Inc.
• GlaxoSmithKline LLC
• Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation
• Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.
• Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
• Pfizer, Inc.
• Teva Pharmaceutcials USA, Inc.
• Watson Laboratories, Inc.


Each of the 13 companies met multiple participation conditions, including

• committing to comply with requirements of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FDCA) 
• having a validated secure supply chain protocol per the US Customs and Border Protection’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program
• having a plan in place to quickly correct potential problems FDA identifies regarding importation of specific products
• having effective recall and corrective action plans in place
• maintaining control over their drugs from the time of manufacture abroad through entry into the US.

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