Category Archives: Barcodes

Barcodes 45, RxTrace 10

The commercial use of barcodes began 45 years ago last week, and RxTrace began 10 years ago this week.  These are pretty incredible milestones and it is worth stepping back and thinking about what it all means.  GS1 issued a press release about the barcode’s 45th anniversary last week, providing links to several videos.  These include some old-timey videos of what grocery checkout was like before barcodes, and when the UPC barcode was first introduced in Troy, Ohio in 1973.  It made me feel old. 

Continue reading Barcodes 45, RxTrace 10

How To Accept Manual Entry Of Drug Unique Identifiers

Most regulations dictating the application of unique identifiers on drug packages also dictate specific data be encoded into a machine-readable barcode, and human readable text. The purpose of the machine-readable unique identifiers is obvious–to allow computers to read the product’s unique identifier quickly and accurately. The purpose of the human-readable unique identifier is less well-understood. Many believe it is to allow manual entry of the barcode contents when the barcode is unreadable for any reason. Others believe it is Continue reading How To Accept Manual Entry Of Drug Unique Identifiers

The HDA Bar Code Quick Start Guide For Meeting The DSCSA And Other FDA Regulations

HDA logoThe Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) (formerly HDMA) published their highly anticipated “Guidelines for Bar Coding in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain, Quick Start Guide” a few weeks ago.  Do yourself a favor and stop reading this essay right now, click on the link and download your copy and read it.  It is free, and it is essential reading for manufacturers and solution providers who expect to develop and deploy solutions that ship serialized units and cases of prescription drugs to U.S. wholesale distributors.  This includes solutions that Continue reading The HDA Bar Code Quick Start Guide For Meeting The DSCSA And Other FDA Regulations

Important HDMA Webinar On Barcoding for DSCSA

HDMA LogoRxTrace followers will want to register and listen in on the Healthcare Distribution Management Association’s (HDMA) upcoming important webinar on May 19, 2016 from 1:00 to 2:00pm EDT.  The webinar will cover the new changes to their “Bar Coding Quick Start Guide” for compliance with the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act.  HDMA originally published this document back in 2014 (see the HDMA’s website) but they are expected to publish an updated version of it any day now.  I checked the HDMA website last night and did not see the new version, but with the scheduling of this webinar, odds are it will be made available to the public between now and May 19.

When that document becomes available Continue reading Important HDMA Webinar On Barcoding for DSCSA

FDA Still Receives Requests For Exemptions From 2006 Barcode Rule

FDALogoThis morning the FDA is due to publish an announcement for an opportunity to comment on their proposed collection of certain information as part of ongoing requests for exemptions from the linear “barcode rule” that has been in effect since April 26, 2006.   The FDA is soliciting comments on the barcode label requirements for Continue reading FDA Still Receives Requests For Exemptions From 2006 Barcode Rule

I’ve Changed My Mind, Follow GS1’s HRI Specification

HRI zoomThat’s right, I now recommend that you follow GS1’s Human Readable Interpretation (HRI) specification for drug labeling, even when under a serialization regulation.  Previously I recommended against it (see “The DSCSA Product Identifier On Drug Packages”, and “The ANVISA Unique Medicine Identifier (IUM) on Drug Packages”).  Why have I changed my mind?  GS1 modified their specification to accommodate most of the objections I had over it.  Let me explain.

The new specification for HRI is in the latest version of Continue reading I’ve Changed My Mind, Follow GS1’s HRI Specification

Will The FDA Eliminate The Linear Barcode On Drugs?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADuring last week’s FDA DQSA supply chain stakeholder’s conference call I was heartened by Ilisa Bernstein’s comments about the linear barcode rule (she says the FDA just calls it “the barcode rule”).  The question was asked by a caller whether or not the linear barcode requirement might be dropped in light of the 2D barcode requirement contained in the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) since some drug packages are too small to accommodate both barcodes.  This is an excellent question and I was happy the caller asked it so directly.

In her response, Dr. Bernstein pointed out that Continue reading Will The FDA Eliminate The Linear Barcode On Drugs?

InBrief: RFID and Barcode Interoperability

There is a new and valuable resource available for anyone who needs to make use of both GS1 RFID and GS1 barcodes–or even just one or the other–on any product or shipping container and in any supply chain.  It is called “RFID Bar Code Interoperability, GS1 Guideline” and it is available as a free PDF download here on the GS1 website.

This is a guidance document, which means that it isn’t a standard itself but draws contents from GS1 standards documents to better explain the subject.  In this particular case it draws primarily from the GS1 General Specifications and the Tag Data Standard.  Both of those source documents are huge and so you will find this new guidance document a relative joy to read if you need this kind of information.

Even if you are already familiar with GS1’s RFID and barcode standards, intermingling them so that they are fully interoperable in a single application isn’t Continue reading InBrief: RFID and Barcode Interoperability