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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

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The information on this page is current as of April 1 2018.

For the most up-to-date version of CFR Title 21, go to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR).

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Help | More About 21CFR
[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 4]
[Revised as of April 1, 2018]
[CITE: 21CFR203]





TITLE 21--FOOD AND DRUGS
CHAPTER I--FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
SUBCHAPTER C--DRUGS: GENERAL
 
PART 203PRESCRIPTION DRUG MARKETING
 

Subpart D--Samples

Sec. 203.30 Sample distribution by mail or common carrier.

(a) Requirements for drug sample distribution by mail or common carrier. A manufacturer or authorized distributor of record may distribute a drug sample to a practitioner licensed to prescribe the drug that is to be sampled or, at the written request of a licensed practitioner, to the pharmacy of a hospital or other health care entity, by mail or common carrier, provided that:

(1) The licensed practitioner executes and submits a written request to the manufacturer or authorized distributor of record, as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, before the delivery of the drug sample;

(2) The manufacturer or authorized distributor of record verifies with the appropriate State authority that the practitioner requesting the drug sample is licensed or authorized under State law to prescribe the drug product;

(3) The recipient executes a written receipt, as set forth in paragraph (c) of this section, when the drug sample is delivered; and

(4) The receipt is returned to the manufacturer or distributor from which the drug sample was received.

(b) Contents of the written request form for delivery of samples by mail or common carrier. (1) A written request for a drug sample to be delivered by mail or common carrier to a licensed practitioner is required to contain the following:

(i) The name, address, professional title, and signature of the practitioner making the request;

(ii) The practitioner's State license or authorization number or, where a scheduled drug product is requested, the practitioner's Drug Enforcement Administration number.

(iii) The proprietary or established name and the strength of the drug sample requested;

(iv) The quantity requested;

(v) The name of the manufacturer and the authorized distributor of record, if the drug sample is requested from an authorized distributor of record; and

(vi) The date of the request.

(2) A written request for a drug sample to be delivered by mail or common carrier to the pharmacy of a hospital or other health care entity is required to contain, in addition to all of the information in paragraph (b)(l) of this section, the name and address of the pharmacy of the hospital or other health care entity to which the drug sample is to be delivered.

(c) Contents of the receipt to be completed upon delivery of a drug sample. The receipt is to be on a form designated by the manufacturer or distributor, and is required to contain the following:

(1) If the drug sample is delivered to the licensed practitioner who requested it, the receipt is required to contain the name, address, professional title, and signature of the practitioner or the practitioner's designee who acknowledges delivery of the drug sample; the proprietary or established name and strength of the drug sample and the quantity of the drug sample delivered; and the date of the delivery.

(2) If the drug sample is delivered to the pharmacy of a hospital or other health care entity at the request of a licensed practitioner, the receipt is required to contain the name and address of the requesting licensed practitioner; the name and address of the hospital or health care entity pharmacy designated to receive the drug sample; the name, address, professional title, and signature of the person acknowledging delivery of the drug sample; the proprietary or established name and strength of the drug sample; the quantity of the drug sample delivered; and the date of the delivery.

Sec. 203.31 Sample distribution by means other than mail or common carrier (direct delivery by a representative or detailer).

(a) Requirements for drug sample distribution by means other than mail or common carrier. A manufacturer or authorized distributor of record may distribute by means other than mail or common carrier, by a representative or detailer, a drug sample to a practitioner licensed to prescribe the drug to be sampled or, at the written request of such a licensed practitioner, to the pharmacy of a hospital or other health care entity, provided that:

(1) The manufacturer or authorized distributor of record receives from the licensed practitioner a written request signed by the licensed practitioner before the delivery of the drug sample;

(2) The manufacturer or authorized distributor of record verifies with the appropriate State authority that the practitioner requesting the drug sample is licensed or authorized under State law to prescribe the drug product;

(3) A receipt is signed by the recipient, as set forth in paragraph (c) of this section, when the drug sample is delivered;

(4) The receipt is returned to the manufacturer or distributor; and

(5) The requirements of paragraphs (d) through (e) of this section are met.

(b) Contents of the written request forms for delivery of samples by a representative. (1) A written request for delivery of a drug sample by a representative to a licensed practitioner is required to contain the following:

(i) The name, address, professional title, and signature of the practitioner making the request;

(ii) The practitioner's State license or authorization number, or, where a scheduled drug product is requested, the practitioner's Drug Enforcement Administration number;

(iii) The proprietary or established name and the strength of the drug sample requested;

(iv) The quantity requested;

(v) The name of the manufacturer and the authorized distributor of record, if the drug sample is requested from an authorized distributor of record; and

(vi) The date of the request.

(2) A written request for delivery of a drug sample by a representative to the pharmacy of a hospital or other health care entity is required to contain, in addition to all of the information in paragraph (b) of this section, the name and address of the pharmacy of the hospital or other health care entity to which the drug sample is to be delivered.

(c) Contents of the receipt to be completed upon delivery of a drug sample. The receipt is to be on a form designated by the manufacturer or distributor, and is required to contain the following:

(1) If the drug sample is received at the address of the licensed practitioner who requested it, the receipt is required to contain the name, address, professional title, and signature of the practitioner or the practitioner's designee who acknowledges delivery of the drug sample; the proprietary or established name and strength of the drug sample; the quantity of the drug sample delivered; and the date of the delivery.

(2) If the drug sample is received by the pharmacy of a hospital or other health care entity at the request of a licensed practitioner, the receipt is required to contain the name and address of the requesting licensed practitioner; the name and address of the hospital or health care entity pharmacy designated to receive the drug sample; the name, address, professional title, and signature of the person acknowledging delivery of the drug sample; the proprietary or established name and strength of the drug sample; the quantity of the drug sample delivered; and the date of the delivery.

(d) Inventory and reconciliation of drug samples of manufacturers' and distributors' representatives. Each drug manufacturer or authorized distributor of record that distributes drug samples by means of representatives shall conduct, at least annually, a complete and accurate physical inventory of all drug samples. All drug samples in the possession or control of each manufacturer's and distributor's representatives are required to be inventoried and the results of the inventory are required to be recorded in an inventory record, as specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. In addition, manufacturers and distributors shall reconcile the results of the physical inventory with the most recently completed prior physical inventory and create a report documenting the reconciliation process, as specified in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

(1) The inventory record is required to identify all drug samples in a representative's stock by the proprietary or established name, dosage strength, and number of units.

(2) The reconciliation report is required to include:

(i) The inventory record for the most recently completed prior inventory;

(ii) A record of each drug sample shipment received since the most recently completed prior inventory, including the sender and date of the shipment, and the proprietary or established name, dosage strength, and number of sample units received;

(iii) A record of drug sample distributions since the most recently completed inventory showing the name and address of each recipient of each sample unit shipped, the date of the shipment, and the proprietary or established name, dosage strength, and number of sample units shipped. For the purposes of this paragraph and paragraph (d)(2)(v) of this section, "distributions" includes distributions to health care practitioners or designated hospital or health care entity pharmacies, transfers or exchanges with other firm representatives, returns to the manufacturer or authorized distributor, destruction of drug samples by a sales representative, and other types of drug sample dispositions. The specific type of distribution must be specified in the record;

(iv) A record of drug sample thefts or significant losses reported by the representative since the most recently completed prior inventory, including the approximate date of the occurrence and the proprietary or established name, dosage strength, and number of sample units stolen or lost; and

(v) A record summarizing the information required by paragraphs (d)(2)(ii) through (d)(2)(iv) of this section. The record must show, for each type of sample unit (i.e. , sample units having the same established or proprietary name and dosage strength), the total number of sample units received, distributed, lost, or stolen since the most recently completed prior inventory. For example, a typical entry in this record may read "50 units risperidone (1 mg) returned to manufacturer" or simply "Risperidone (1 mg)/50/returned to manufacturer."

(3) Each drug manufacturer or authorized distributor of record shall take appropriate internal control measures to guard against error and possible fraud in the conduct of the physical inventory and reconciliation, and in the preparation of the inventory record and reconciliation report.

(4) A manufacturer or authorized distributor of record shall carefully evaluate any apparent discrepancy or significant loss revealed through the inventory and reconciliation process and shall fully investigate any such discrepancy or significant loss that cannot be justified.

(e) Lists of manufacturers' and distributors' representatives. Each drug manufacturer or authorized distributor of record who distributes drug samples by means of representatives shall maintain a list of the names and addresses of its representatives who distribute drug samples and of the sites where drug samples are stored.

Sec. 203.32 Drug sample storage and handling requirements.

(a) Storage and handling conditions. Manufacturers, authorized distributors of record, and their representatives shall store and handle all drug samples under conditions that will maintain their stability, integrity, and effectiveness and ensure that the drug samples are free of contamination, deterioration, and adulteration.

(b) Compliance with compendial and labeling requirements. Manufacturers, authorized distributors of record, and their representatives can generally comply with this section by following the compendial and labeling requirements for storage and handling of a particular prescription drug in handling samples of that drug.

Sec. 203.33 Drug sample forms.

A sample request or receipt form may be delivered by mail, common carrier, or private courier or may be transmitted photographically or electronically (i.e. , by telephoto, wirephoto, radiophoto, facsimile transmission (FAX), xerography, or electronic data transfer) or by any other system, provided that the method for transmission meets the security requirements set forth in 203.60(c).

Sec. 203.34 Policies and procedures; administrative systems.

Each manufacturer or authorized distributor of record that distributes drug samples shall establish, maintain, and adhere to written policies and procedures describing its administrative systems for the following:

(a) Distributing drug samples by mail or common carrier, including methodology for reconciliation of requests and receipts;

(b) Distributing drug samples by means other than mail or common carrier including the methodology for:

(1) Reconciling requests and receipts, identifying patterns of nonresponse, and the manufacturer's or distributor's response when such patterns are found;

(2) Conducting the annual physical inventory and preparation of the reconciliation report;

(3) Implementing a sample distribution security and audit system, including conducting random and for-cause audits of sales representatives by personnel independent of the sales force; and

(4) Storage of drug samples by representatives;

(c) Identifying any significant loss of drug samples and notifying FDA of the loss; and

(d) Monitoring any loss or theft of drug samples.

Sec. 203.35 Standing requests.

Manufacturers or authorized distributors of record shall not distribute drug samples on the basis of open-ended or standing requests, but shall require separate written requests for each drug sample or group of samples. An arrangement by which a licensed practitioner requests in writing that a specified number of drug samples be delivered over a period of not more than 6 months, with the actual delivery dates for parts of the order to be set by subsequent oral communication or electronic transmission, is not considered to be a standing request.

Sec. 203.36 Fulfillment houses, shipping and mailing services, comarketing agreements, and third-party recordkeeping.

(a) Responsibility for creating and maintaining forms, reports, and records. Any manufacturer or authorized distributor of record that uses a fulfillment house, shipping or mailing service, or other third party, or engages in a comarketing agreement with another manufacturer or distributor to distribute drug samples or to meet any of the requirements of PDMA, PDA, or this part, remains responsible for creating and maintaining all requests, receipts, forms, reports, and records required under PDMA, PDA, and this part.

(b) Responsibility for producing requested forms, reports, or records. A manufacturer or authorized distributor of record that contracts with a third party to maintain some or all of its records shall produce requested forms, reports, records, or other required documents within 2 business days of a request by an authorized representative of FDA or another Federal, State, or local regulatory or law enforcement official.

Sec. 203.37 Investigation and notification requirements.

(a) Investigation of falsification of drug sample records. A manufacturer or authorized distributor of record that has reason to believe that any person has falsified drug sample requests, receipts, or records, or is diverting drug samples, shall:

(1) Notify FDA, by telephone or in writing, within 5 working days;

(2) Immediately initiate an investigation; and

(3) Provide FDA with a complete written report, including the reason for and the results of the investigation, not later than 30 days after the date of the initial notification in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(b) Significant loss or known theft of drug samples. A manufacturer or authorized distributor of record that distributes drug samples or a charitable institution that receives donated drug samples from a licensed practitioner shall:

(1) Notify FDA, by telephone or in writing, within 5 working days of becoming aware of a significant loss or known theft;

(2) Immediately initiate an investigation into the significant loss or known theft; and

(3) Provide FDA with a complete written report, including the reason for and the results of the investigation, not later than 30 days after the date of the initial notification in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(c) Conviction of a representative. (1) A manufacturer or authorized distributor of record that distributes drug samples shall notify FDA, by telephone or in writing, within 30 days of becoming aware of the conviction of one or more of its representatives for a violation of section 503(c)(1) of the act or any State law involving the sale, purchase, or trade of a drug sample or the offer to sell, purchase, or trade a drug sample.

(2) A manufacturer or authorized distributor of record shall provide FDA with a complete written report not later than 30 days after the date of the initial notification.

(d) Selection of individual responsible for drug sample information. A manufacturer or authorized distributor of record that distributes drug samples shall inform FDA in writing within 30 days of selecting the individual responsible for responding to a request for information about drug samples of that individual's name, business address, and telephone number.

(e) Whom to notify at FDA. Notifications and reports concerning human prescription drugs or biological products regulated by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research shall be made to the Division of Compliance Risk Management and Surveillance, Office of Compliance, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Notifications and reports concerning human prescription biological products regulated by the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research shall be made to the Food and Drug Administration, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Document Control Center, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. G112, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002.

[64 FR 67756, Dec. 3, 1999, as amended at 69 FR 48775, Aug. 11, 2004; 70 FR 14981, Mar. 24, 2005; 74 FR 13112, Mar. 26, 2009; 80 FR 18090, Apr. 3, 2015]

Sec. 203.38 Sample lot or control numbers; labeling of sample units.

(a) Lot or control number required on drug sample labeling and sample unit label. The manufacturer or authorized distributor of record of a drug sample shall include on the label of the sample unit and on the outside container or packaging of the sample unit, if any, an identifying lot or control number that will permit the tracking of the distribution of each drug sample unit.

(b) Records containing lot or control numbers required for all drug samples distributed. A manufacturer or authorized distributor of record shall maintain for all samples distributed records of drug sample distribution containing lot or control numbers that are sufficient to permit the tracking of sample units to the point of the licensed practitioner.

(c) Labels of sample units. Each sample unit shall bear a label that clearly denotes its status as a drug sample, e.g., "sample," "not for sale," "professional courtesy package."

(1) A drug that is labeled as a drug sample is deemed to be a drug sample within the meaning of the act.

(2) A drug product dosage unit that bears an imprint identifying the dosage form as a drug sample is deemed to be a drug sample within the meaning of the act.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section, any article that is a drug sample as defined in section 503(c)(1) of the act and 203.3(i) that fails to bear the label required in this paragraph (c) is a drug sample.

Sec. 203.39 Donation of drug samples to charitable institutions.

A charitable institution may receive a drug sample donated by a licensed practitioner or another charitable institution for dispensing to a patient of the charitable institution, or donate a drug sample to another charitable institution for dispensing to its patients, provided that the following requirements are met:

(a) A drug sample donated by a licensed practitioner or donating charitable institution shall be received by a charitable institution in its original, unopened packaging with its labeling intact.

(b) Delivery of a donated drug sample to a recipient charitable institution shall be completed by mail or common carrier, collection by an authorized agent or employee of the recipient charitable institution, or personal delivery by a licensed practitioner or an agent or employee of the donating charitable institution. Donated drug samples shall be placed by the donor in a sealed carton for delivery to or collection by the recipient charitable institution.

(c) A donated drug sample shall not be dispensed to a patient or be distributed to another charitable institution until it has been examined by a licensed practitioner or registered pharmacist at the recipient charitable institution to confirm that the donation record accurately describes the drug sample delivered and that no drug sample is adulterated or misbranded for any reason, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) The drug sample is out of date;

(2) The labeling has become mutilated, obscured, or detached from the drug sample packaging;

(3) The drug sample shows evidence of having been stored or shipped under conditions that might adversely affect its stability, integrity, or effectiveness;

(4) The drug sample is for a prescription drug product that has been recalled or is no longer marketed; or

(5) The drug sample is otherwise possibly contaminated, deteriorated, or adulterated.

(d) The recipient charitable institution shall dispose of any drug sample found to be unsuitable by destroying it or by returning it to the manufacturer. The charitable institution shall maintain complete records of the disposition of all destroyed or returned drug samples.

(e) The recipient charitable institution shall prepare at the time of collection or delivery of a drug sample a complete and accurate donation record, a copy of which shall be retained by the recipient charitable institution for at least 3 years, containing the following information:

(1) The name, address, and telephone number of the licensed practitioner (or donating charitable institution);

(2) The manufacturer, brand name, quantity, and lot or control number of the drug sample donated; and

(3) The date of the donation.

(f) Each recipient charitable institution shall maintain complete and accurate records of donation, receipt, inspection, inventory, dispensing, redistribution, destruction, and returns sufficient for complete accountability and auditing of drug sample stocks.

(g) Each recipient charitable institution shall conduct, at least annually, an inventory of prescription drug sample stocks and shall prepare a report reconciling the results of each inventory with the most recent prior inventory. Drug sample inventory discrepancies and reconciliation problems shall be investigated by the charitable institution and reported to FDA.

(h) A recipient charitable institution shall store drug samples under conditions that will maintain the sample's stability, integrity, and effectiveness, and will ensure that the drug samples will be free of contamination, deterioration, and adulteration.

(i) A charitable institution shall notify FDA within 5 working days of becoming aware of a significant loss or known theft of prescription drug samples.

Authority: 21 U.S.C. 331, 333, 351, 352, 353, 360, 371, 374, 381.
Source: 64 FR 67756, Dec. 3, 1999, unless otherwise noted.

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