US to expedite imports for some drugmakers under new supply chain plan

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

US to launch expedited drug import scheme
US to launch expedited drug import scheme

Related tags Supply chain Pharmaceutical drug

The US FDA announced on Monday that it would initiate a Secure Supply Chain Pilot Program to enhance the security of imported drugs.

The program will allow thirteen companies to receive expedited entry for the importation of up to five selected drugs into the US.

The goal of the program is to enable the 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.

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

  • AbbVie Inc.
  • Allergan, Inc.
  • Astellas U.S. 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 U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program; having a plan to quickly correct potential problems the FDA identifies; having effective recall and corrective action plans in place; and maintaining control over their drugs from the time of manufacture abroad through entry into the United States.

Over the next two years, the FDA will evaluate the program’s effectiveness in ensuring the security of the drug supply chain. If the FDA determines the program to be effective, a more permanent program may be established and possibly extended to additional participating companies.

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 program also allows the FDA to focus resources on the areas with the greatest potential risk to consumers​.”

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