Any company wishing to make use of GS1 standards—including their barcodes, identifiers and data exchange standards—must first obtain a GS1 Company Prefix, or “GCP”. Normally you would obtain a GCP by applying to the GS1 Member Organization (M.O.) in the country where your company headquarters resides, but if you are a pharmaceutical company that makes drugs for the U.S. market, regardless of where you are located, you will need to obtain a special GCP from GS1 US, the GS1 M.O. in the United States.
That’s because currently, drugs sold into the U.S. market must contain a linear barcode that encodes your U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) National Drug Code (NDC). To properly encode that NDC into a GS1 barcode symbol, you must register with GS1 US the GS1 GCP that matches the FDA-assigned Labeler Code that is a part of every NDC. Only GS1 US can assign/register a GCP that matches your FDA-assigned Labeler Code. I explain all of this in more detail in my essay “Anatomy Of The National Drug Code”.
Companies may end up with more than one GCP over time for several reasons. For example, if a drug company is based in Switzerland, merged with another pharmaceutical company in France a few years ago and sells pharmaceuticals globally, they may end up Continue reading Your GS1 Company Prefix: An Enterprise Resource