FFF Enterprises Launches First Verified Drug Pedigree System

June 21, 2004 Media Release

FFF Verified Electronic Pedigree fills void of regulatory or industry solution to drug counterfeiting.

TEMECULA, Calif. - FFF Enterprises Inc., a healthcare corporation based in Temecula, Calif., announced today the launch of its Verified Electronic Pedigree (VEP)™ system, the first such system in the pharmaceutical distribution industry. Drug pedigrees - documentation of who has handled a particular unit of a drug as it travels through the supply chain - are drawing new interest from legislators, regulators and industry members as one solution to the increasing incidence of drug counterfeiting. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has postponed implementation of federal drug pedigree rules three times since first calling for it in the 1987 Prescription Drug Marketing Act (PDMA). While several states have passed pedigree legislation or are considering it, the approaches vary and verification of the pedigrees has been unsuccessfully addressed.

FFF Enterprises President and CEO Patrick M. Schmidt believes that consumers will not wait much longer for regulators or the industry to take steps to assure the security of the nation’s pharmaceutical supply channel. “The cost of developing and implementing national drug pedigree requirements, challenges to establishing accepted standards, and politics have all contributed to the failure to implement the pedigree rules originally presented by the FDA in the 1987 PDMA,” Schmidt explained. “But drug counterfeiting is increasing, the number of victims is growing, and we cannot risk losing consumer confidence in the healthcare system. FFF acted to protect our customers, and we know our system, with its ability to electronically verify pedigrees, serves as a superior solution.”

Using FFF’s VEP, customers log on to a secure website, enter a drug’s lot number and rapidly verify FFF’s receipt of the product directly from the manufacturer and the product’s shipment directly to the healthcare provider.

“FFF VEP is a secure web-based system that allows our customers to electronically verify a drug’s pedigree within seconds,” said FFF’s Vice President of Technology Bob Coates. “VEP is a powerful extension of FFF’s Guaranteed Channel Integrity™, and this is just the beginning. We have several enhancements to the system in the works that will continue to strengthen the security of our supply channel and provide healthcare consumers the guarantee they deserve that the drugs they take have traveled a safe path.”

FFF has been promoting supply channel integrity for over 15 years, and launched an ad campaign in 2003 to promote the concept of Guaranteed Channel Integrity, which encompasses technologies and good business practices to solve the secondary market and drug counterfeiting problems. FFF’s solution package includes:

  • The new Verified Electronic Pedigree system.
  • A recommendation for industry-wide adoption of FFF’s policy of purchasing drugs only from manufacturers and selling them only to healthcare providers.
  • A call to healthcare providers to resist reselling excess inventory into the secondary marketplace where it becomes vulnerable to counterfeiters.

“FFF finds itself in the unique position of launching the first anticounterfeiting solution,” said Schmidt. “We know there are additional proposed solutions, and we are initiating pilots on several of them, although most of them, such as radio frequency identification, are potentially years away from costly adoption. FFF’s Verified Electronic Pedigree is in use today, and it’s working for our customers. But, if we as an industry don’t take action soon, consumers will demand a solution of their own.”

About FFF Enterprises
FFF Enterprises was founded in 1988 and has since grown into a multidimensional healthcare company, delivering innovative solutions in biopharmaceutical management and distribution, health information management and consumer healthcare services. FFF is the nation’s largest supplier of fractionated blood products, including albumin, intravenous immune globulin and coagulation products. FFF's customers include the nation's leading acute care and non-acute care group purchasing organizations, pharmaceutical manufacturers, contract research organizations, managed healthcare and consumers.