DSCSA Terms and Definitions

The Drug Supply Chain Security Act, also known as DSCSA, defines many terms that relate to entities and actions on the United States Drug Supply chain. Understanding the terms and definitions outlined in DSCSA is critical to determining your organizational and individual responsibilities for DSCSA's November 27, 2023 regulatory deadline. The defined terms within 'Section 581 Definitions' of DSCSA are presented in an unedited form and are accurate as of 03/28/2022 9:02am EST. All terms and definitions are sourced directly from: Title II of the Drug Quality and Security Act.

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What is an 'Affiliate' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `affiliate' means a business entity that has a relationship with a second business entity if, directly or indirectly--
``(A) one business entity controls, or has the power to control, the other business entity; or
``(B) a third party controls, or has the power to control, both of the business entities.

What is 'Authorized' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `authorized' means--
``(A) in the case of a manufacturer or repackager, having a valid registration in accordance with section 510;
``(B) in the case of a wholesale distributor, having a valid license under State law or section 583, in accordance with section 582(a)(6), and complying with the licensure reporting requirements under section 503(e), as amended by the Drug Supply Chain Security Act;
``(C) in the case of a third-party logistics provider, having a valid license under State law or section 584(a)(1), in accordance with section 582(a)(7), and complying with the licensure reporting requirements under section 584(b); and
``(D) in the case of a dispenser, having a valid license under State law.

What is a 'Dispenser' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `dispenser'--
``(A) means a retail pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, a group of chain pharmacies under common ownership and control that do not act as a wholesale distributor, or any other person authorized by law to dispense or administer prescription drugs, and the affiliated warehouses or distribution centers of such entities under common ownership and control that do not act as a wholesale distributor; and
``(B) does not include a person who dispenses only products to be used in animals in accordance with section 512(a)(5).

What is 'Disposition' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `disposition', with respect to a product within the possession or control of an entity, means the removal of such product from the pharmaceutical distribution supply chain, which may include disposal or return of the product for disposal or other appropriate handling and other actions, such as retaining a sample of the product for further additional physical examination or laboratory analysis of the product by a manufacturer or regulatory or law enforcement agency.

What is 'Distribute' or 'Distribution' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `distribute' or `distribution' means the sale, purchase, trade, delivery, handling, storage, or receipt of a product, and does not include the dispensing of a product pursuant to a prescription executed in accordance with section 503(b)(1) or the dispensing of a product approved under section 512(b).

What is an 'Exclusive Distributor' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `exclusive distributor' means the wholesale distributor that directly purchased the product from the manufacturer and is the sole distributor of that manufacturer's product to a subsequent repackager, wholesale distributor, or dispenser.

What is a 'Homogeneous Case' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `homogeneous case' means a sealed case containing only product that has a single National Drug Code number belonging to a single lot.

What is an 'Illegitimate Product' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `illegitimate product' means a product for which credible evidence shows that the product--
``(A) is counterfeit, diverted, or stolen;
``(B) is intentionally adulterated such that the product would result in serious adverse health consequences or death to humans;
``(C) is the subject of a fraudulent transaction; or
``(D) appears otherwise unfit for distribution such that the product would be reasonably likely to result in serious adverse health consequences or death to humans.

What is 'Licensed' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `licensed' means--
``(A) in the case of a wholesale distributor, having a valid license in accordance with section 503(e) or section 582(a)(6), as applicable;
``(B) in the case of a third-party logistics provider, having a valid license in accordance with section 584(a) or section 582(a)(7), as applicable; and
``(C) in the case of a dispenser, having a valid license under State law.

What is a 'Manufacturer' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `manufacturer' means, with respect to a product--
``(A) a person that holds an application approved under section 505 or a license issued under section 351 of the Public Health Service Act for such product, or if such product is not the subject of an approved application or license, the person who manufactured the product;
``(B) a co-licensed partner of the person described in subparagraph (A) that obtains the product directly from a person described in this subparagraph or subparagraph (A) or
(C); or
``(C) an affiliate of a person described in subparagraph
(A) or (B) that receives the product directly from a person described in this subparagraph or subparagraph (A) or (B).

What is a 'Package' as defined by DSCSA?

``(A) In general.--The term `package' means the smallest individual saleable unit of product for distribution by a manufacturer or repackager that is intended by the manufacturer for ultimate sale to the dispenser of such product.
``(B) Individual saleable unit.--For purposes of this paragraph, an `individual saleable unit' is the smallest container of product introduced into commerce by the manufacturer or repackager that is intended by the manufacturer or repackager for individual sale to a dispenser.

What is a 'Prescription Drug' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `prescription drug' means a drug for human use subject to section 503(b)(1).

What is a 'Product' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `product' means a prescription drug in a finished dosage form for administration to a patient without substantial further manufacturing (such as capsules, tablets, and lyophilized products before reconstitution), but for purposes of section 582, does not include blood or blood components intended for transfusion, radioactive drugs or radioactive biological products (as defined in section 600.3(ee) of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations) that are regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or by a State pursuant to an agreement with such Commission under section 274 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2021), imaging drugs, an intravenous product described in clause (xiv), (xv), or (xvi) of paragraph (24)(B), any medical gas (as defined in section 575), homeopathic drugs marketed in accordance with applicable guidance under this Act, or a drug compounded in compliance with section 503A or 503B.

What is a 'Product Identifier' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `product identifier' means a standardized graphic that includes, in both human-readable form and on a machine-readable data carrier that conforms to the standards developed by a widely recognized international standards development organization, the standardized numerical identifier, lot number, and expiration date of the product.

What is 'Quarantine' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `quarantine' means the storage or identification of a product, to prevent distribution or transfer of the product, in a physically separate area clearly identified for such use or through other procedures.

What is a 'Repackager' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `repackager' means a person who owns or operates an establishment that repacks and relabels a product or package for--
``(A) further sale; or
``(B) distribution without a further transaction.

What is a 'Return' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `return' means providing product to the authorized immediate trading partner from which such product was purchased or received, or to a returns processor or reverse logistics provider for handling of such product.

What is a 'Returns Processor' or 'Reverse Logistics Provider' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `returns processor' or `reverse logistics provider' means a person who owns or operates an establishment that dispositions or otherwise processes saleable or nonsaleable product received from an authorized trading partner such that the product may be processed for credit to the purchaser, manufacturer, or seller or disposed of for no further distribution.

What is 'Specific Patient Need' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `specific patient need' refers to the transfer of a product from one pharmacy to another to fill a prescription for an identified patient. Such term does not include the transfer of a product from one pharmacy to another for the purpose of increasing or replenishing stock in anticipation of a potential need.

'What is a 'Standardized Numerical Identifier' as defined by DSCSA?

The term 'standardized numerical identifier' means a set of numbers or characters used to uniquely identify each package or homogenous case that is composed of the National Drug Code that corresponds to the specific product (including the particular package configuration) combined with a unique alphanumeric serial number of up to 20 characters.

What is a 'Suspect Product' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `suspect product' means a product for which there is reason to believe that such product--
``(A) is potentially counterfeit, diverted, or stolen;
``(B) is potentially intentionally adulterated such that the product would result in serious adverse health consequences or death to humans;
``(C) is potentially the subject of a fraudulent transaction; or
``(D) appears otherwise unfit for distribution such that the product would result in serious adverse health consequences or death to humans.

What is a 'Third-Party Logistics Provider' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `third-party logistics provider' means an entity that provides or coordinates warehousing, or other logistics services of a product in interstate commerce on behalf of a manufacturer, wholesale distributor, or dispenser of a product, but does not take ownership of the product, nor have responsibility to direct the sale or disposition of the product.

What is a 'Trading Partner' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `trading partner' means--
``(A) a manufacturer, repackager, wholesale distributor, or dispenser from whom a manufacturer, repackager, wholesale distributor, or dispenser accepts direct ownership of a product or to whom a manufacturer, repackager, wholesale distributor, or dispenser transfers direct ownership of a product; or
``(B) a third-party logistics provider from whom a manufacturer, repackager, wholesale distributor, or dispenser accepts direct possession of a product or to whom a manufacturer, repackager, wholesale distributor, or dispenser transfers direct possession of a product.

What is a 'Transaction' as defined by DSCSA?

``(A) In general.--The term `transaction' means the transfer of product between persons in which a change of ownership occurs.
``(B) Exemptions.--The term `transaction' does not include--
``(i) intracompany distribution of any product between members of an affiliate or within a manufacturer;
``(ii) the distribution of a product among hospitals or other health care entities that are under common control;
``(iii) the distribution of a product for emergency medical reasons including a public health emergency declaration pursuant to section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, except that a drug shortage not caused by a public health emergency shall not constitute an emergency medical reason;
``(iv) the dispensing of a product pursuant to a prescription executed in accordance with section 503(b)(1);
``(v) the distribution of product samples by a manufacturer or a licensed wholesale distributor in accordance with section 503(d);
``(vi) the distribution of blood or blood components intended for transfusion;
``(vii) the distribution of minimal quantities of product by a licensed retail pharmacy to a licensed practitioner for office use;
``(viii) the sale, purchase, or trade of a drug or an offer to sell, purchase, or trade a drug by a charitable organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to a nonprofit affiliate of the organization to the extent otherwise permitted by law;
``(ix) the distribution of a product pursuant to the sale or merger of a pharmacy or pharmacies or a wholesale distributor or wholesale distributors, except that any records required to be maintained for the product shall be transferred to the new owner of the pharmacy or pharmacies or wholesale distributor or wholesale distributors;
``(x) the dispensing of a product approved under section 512(c);
``(xi) products transferred to or from any facility that is licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or by a State pursuant to an agreement with such Commission under section 274 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2021);
``(xii) a combination product that is not subject to approval under section 505 or licensure under section 351 of the Public Health Service Act, and that is--

``(I) a product comprised of a device and 1 or more other regulated components (such as a drug/device, biologic/device, or drug/device/biologic) that are physically, chemically, or otherwise combined or mixed and produced as a single entity;
``(II) 2 or more separate products packaged together in a single package or as a unit and comprised of a drug and device or device and biological product; or
``(III) 2 or more finished medical devices plus one or more drug or biological products that are packaged together in what is referred to as a `medical convenience kit' as described in clause (xiii);

``(xiii) the distribution of a collection of finished medical devices, which may include a product or biological product, assembled in kit form strictly for the convenience of the purchaser or user (referred to in this clause as a
`medical convenience kit') if--

``(I) the medical convenience kit is assembled in an establishment that is registered with the Food and Drug Administration as a device manufacturer in accordance with section 510(b)(2);
``(II) the medical convenience kit does not contain a controlled substance that appears in a schedule contained in the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970;
``(III) in the case of a medical convenience kit that includes a product, the person that manufacturers the kit--

``(aa) purchased such product directly from the pharmaceutical manufacturer or from a wholesale distributor that purchased the product directly from the pharmaceutical manufacturer; and
``(bb) does not alter the primary container or label of the product as purchased from the manufacturer or wholesale distributor; and

``(IV) in the case of a medical convenience kit that includes a product, the product is--

``(aa) an intravenous solution intended for the replenishment of fluids and electrolytes;
``(bb) a product intended to maintain the equilibrium of water and minerals in the body;
``(cc) a product intended for irrigation or reconstitution;
``(dd) an anesthetic;
``(ee) an anticoagulant;
``(ff) a vasopressor; or
``(gg) a sympathomimetic;
``(xiv) the distribution of an intravenous product that, by its formulation, is intended for the replenishment of fluids and electrolytes (such as sodium, chloride, and potassium) or calories (such as dextrose and amino acids);
``(xv) the distribution of an intravenous product used to maintain the equilibrium of water and minerals in the body, such as dialysis solutions;
``(xvi) the distribution of a product that is intended for irrigation, or sterile water, whether intended for such purposes or for injection;
``(xvii) the distribution of a medical gas (as defined in section 575); or
``(xviii) the distribution or sale of any licensed product under section 351 of the Public Health Service Act that meets the definition of a device under section 201(h).

What is 'Transaction History' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `transaction history' means a statement in paper or electronic form, including the transaction information for each prior transaction going back to the manufacturer of the product.

What is 'Transaction Information' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `transaction information' means--
``(A) the proprietary or established name or names of the product;
``(B) the strength and dosage form of the product;
``(C) the National Drug Code number of the product;
``(D) the container size;
``(E) the number of containers;
``(F) the lot number of the product;
``(G) the date of the transaction;
``(H) the date of the shipment, if more than 24 hours after the date of the transaction;
``(I) the business name and address of the person from whom ownership is being transferred; and
``(J) the business name and address of the person to whom ownership is being transferred.

What is a 'Transaction Statement' as defined by DSCSA?

The `transaction statement' is a statement, in paper or electronic form, that the entity transferring ownership in a transaction--
``(A) is authorized as required under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act;
``(B) received the product from a person that is authorized as required under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act;
``(C) received transaction information and a transaction statement from the prior owner of the product, as required under section 582;
``(D) did not knowingly ship a suspect or illegitimate product;
``(E) had systems and processes in place to comply with verification requirements under section 582;
``(F) did not knowingly provide false transaction information; and
``(G) did not knowingly alter the transaction history.

What is 'Verification' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `verification' or `verify' means determining whether the product identifier affixed to, or imprinted upon, a package or homogeneous case corresponds to the standardized numerical identifier or lot number and expiration date assigned to the product by the manufacturer or the repackager, as applicable in accordance with section 582.

What is a 'Wholesale Distributor' as defined by DSCSA?

The term `wholesale distributor' means a person (other than a manufacturer, a manufacturer's co- licensed partner, a third-party logistics provider, or repackager) engaged in wholesale distribution (as defined in section 503(e)(4), as amended by the Drug Supply Chain Security Act).

DSCSA Requirements and Resources

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