California Pharmacy Board Mulls Delay to Drug Tracking Rules
The California Board of Pharmacy is scheduled to meet today to discuss a possible two-year postponement to a law that would require the pharmaceutical industry to electronically track prescription drugs in the state, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The measure is scheduled to take effect in 2009. If postponed until 2011, it would mark the second delay for the 2004 law.
The measure is intended to combat the $40 billion global counterfeit drug trafficking trade by requiring each prescription drug bottle to have a unique serial number. The law mandates that each entity that transfers the medication -- from manufacturer to wholesaler to pharmacist -- be documented in the drug's electronic record.
Some argue that the law should be delayed to allow the pharmaceutical industry additional time to obtain the computer systems needed to track drugs through the supply chain.
The board is not expected to reach a decision today.
Paul Rudolph, a former associate commissioner at FDA, said that the California law will have nationwide implications because of the state's size.
Florida requires prescription drugs to be tracked, but no other state requires drugs to be tracked electronically, the Chronicle reports (Gage/Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/23).