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How Does UDI Traceability Work with the Distributor?

There is not a requirement for full traceability like you will see in pharmaceuticals. There is a requirement for full identification through plan of use at the healthcare institutions. The distributors really don't have a traceability responsibility, they have a responsibility to ensure that only properly identified medical devices, as required by law, are continued through the supply chain.

There are specific requirements that manufacturers legislation mandates manufacturers be compliant by a certain date and those dates are already under way. For class 3 - September 2014, for class 2 and class 1 that are regulated by the sedation regulation - September 2015, with some extensions, but essentially 2015. The large remaining bulk of class 2 products - September 2016, and then the class 1 products - September 2018.

Those are the UDI Final Rule regulatory requirements. There are some exceptions for existing inventory and there are also some feature requirements for direct marking, but there isn't going to be a traceability process, such as you may see in pharmaceuticals. It will be a registration with the FDA and a identification consistent with UDI and then the ability to start adopting that as that flow starts in the healthcare institution. The legislation regulation is there, the UDI Final Rule with those dates rolling from September 2014. The product changes are on the label, the product effect is on the label, not in a transaction history or a pedigree type of traceability that's required on the pharmaceutical side.

USDM Life Sciences offers healthcare a comprehensive assessment, strategy and solutions to implement end to end traceability of pharmaceutical and medical devices from point of receipt through to the electronic health record.


  • Clintrak - Jeffrey D. Coffin
    I have had the great pleasure to work with Bob for 5 years in his position of VP of Quality at Fisher Packaging Services while I acted as Director of Quality services at a sister…
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