The ‘added benefits of standardized serialization and supply-chain visibility’

Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain (JJSC) and AmerisourceBergen Corporation (ABC) recently collaborated on a pilot study on implementing GS1 traceability standards. PMP News asked Mike Rose, Vice President of Supply Chain Visibility, and Chris Reed, Lead, Product Serialization and Traceability, both with JJSC, a few questions about the pilot.


PMP: What were the goals of the pilot program between Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain and AmerisourceBergen? Why did the two companies decide to work together?

Rose: FDA’s 2013 Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) requires the pharmaceutical industry to implement end-to-end traceability by 2023. Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain (JJSC) and AmerisourceBergen (ABC) are two of the largest manufacturers and wholesale distributors of prescription drugs in the United States. Both companies understood the importance of implementing and testing GS1 Standards-based solutions—in particular the GS1 Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) in a real-world pilot to meet the DSCSA deadline for interoperability.

This pilot was an opportunity to not only help develop the industry solution, but also provide insights that may help our customers use it and leverage it beyond just compliance, to introduce new efficiencies in the supply chain that will ultimately benefit all stakeholders and improve patient safety.


PMP: When did the pilot program begin? How many products and what type of products were coded? Is it still ongoing?

Rose: The pilot with AmerisourceBergen began in October 2015 and concluded December 15, 2015. JJSC opted to utilize 40 serialized SKUs comingled with unserialized product in regular, recurring shipments. The goal was to utilize full production products, shipments, and transactions. We exchanged serialized information and products in an additional pilot from June to August 2016 for six weeks as well. We intend to move this exchange of information and product to an on-going basis later in the…

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