Pharmaceutical Providers and EDI

We Know Your Industry

As a GS1 member, DCS knows your industry and it’s specific requirements. We bring you the most up-to-date knowledge with our weekly blog post, best paired with our years of experience.

DCS EDI Specialists Ensure Success with Your Industry Requirements

Recent events in the national press are reinforcing regulator’s demands for tighter lot control and expiration date management. Additionally, the mass merchants, pharmacy chains, and large distributors are attempting to reallocate risk to the manufacturer. An example is the e-Pedigree Shipment Notice (ASN, 856). “Back Office” problems are difficult as numerous customers promulgate widely varying demands, causing many to ignore the problem that must be dealt with for continued success. DCS is ready to help you meet these challenges now.

DCS Knows Your Industry

DCS has compiled a list of pharmaceutical companies that are currently EDI-active. View our list to see if any of these companies are a key customer of yours. Contact Data Communication Solutions (DCS) today and we can ask the company’s I.T. department (not the buyer) for their EDI guidelines to get the process started.

DCS has the experience to meet the requirements of your customers and keep your business process running smoothly. Contact us today for your no-cost assessment to get the process started.

GS1 Updates

As the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world, GS1 is what our EDI Specialists rely on for the most insider knowledge. At the 2013 GS1 CONNECT conference, DCS learned some important information for you to know and comply with.

Starting in 2015, Pharmaceuticals will:

  • be identified by their GTIN and a unique Serial Number
  • be tracked by a chain of Ownership (i.e. lot tracing)
  • have dispositions associated with each item

Manufacturers (both generic and brand) must pedigree:

  • 50% of their products by 2015 (with the remaining 50% by 2016)
  • Wholesalers and repackagers (must accept and pass pedigrees) by July 2016
  • Pharmacies and pharmacy warehouses (must accept pedigrees) by July 2017

*Information from “141: Product Serialization and Pedigree within the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain,” presented at GS1 CONNECT 2013.

Lot Tracing

Lot traceability has become increasingly essential in the procurements and manufacturing process to protect public health. If a shipment contains two lots of the same UPC number your invoice must be changed, without the proper attention this may become a problem. If your system is not configured properly, lot tracing can be a nightmare for any business. By solidifying your operations using proper systems, traceability can be your competitive edge and customer favorite. While these challenges can be readily solved by the big five pharmaceutical manufacturers, small and mid-sized firms face the twin challenge of meeting demands and controlling cost.

Utilizing Process Management

Process management must occur quickly, easily, and without mistake. The purpose of EDI and E-commerce is process automation that drives toward these goals, while ensuring check points and exception reports are effective. Since expiring product data can flow reliably from large customers, improved and automated procedures are necessary. For example, expired product data should readily download into your ERP system instead of arriving as a spreadsheet. This helps eliminate tedious and error-prone manual entry for accounts payables, while reducing/eliminating chargebacks. The best way is to use your existing systems to speed processes and reduce errors.

Creation of sound procedures will eliminate chargebacks and calls from irate, crucial customers. This task must be done properly to minimize the project cost. Due to our experience with Rx ASNs, chargebacks, and order flow, DCS EDI consultants know the challenges of AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson, as well as industry leaders like Lilly and Pfizer. Continuous improvements are also easier when DCS is there to assist as needed. Our PROCESS™ ensures your evolution will be thorough and quick.

E-commerce has brought other evolutionary changes to companies that impact every traditional business process, including:

  • price/deal sheet
  • item data synchronization (1SYNC)
  • secure Internet data transmission (EDI INT AS2)
  • public warehouse connections (940 series)
  • payments (EFT: CTX+ and 820)
  • ship-to address (GLN)
  • product identifiers (RFID and GTIN) changes.

If some customers are already automated, consider adding more, including distributors. The decision criterion is transaction count. A high number of orders or part numbers can be time consuming to key and allow for errors to arise. If you haven’t asked customers for EDI, you are experiencing “blinders” because it does not mean they are not EDI capable. Any non-EDI customer or distributor is a prospect for automation, which is easy for DCS to find out. With the identification of improvements in this process, we can be your ally in conquering the new wave of e-commerce.

Your business is unique, and yet you must align your methods to essential customers’ requirements. This means your existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and EDI systems must adapt over time to meet these evolving requirements. The process is complex, but can be broken down into small, manageable tasks, creating the best opportunity for valuable experience with your current system for a much smaller price. DCS can assess your current system to see what changes need to be made for the most money saved.

Your next step is to email us for your no-cost assessment.

For additional information read about prescription “Pedigree” Changes.