Category Archives: NDC

Sponsored: How To Properly Define GTINs For Your NDCs

Image showing relationships of define GTINs
Packaging Hierarchy. Drawing by Omega Design

RxTrace readers are well aware that the deadline is this November 27 for applying unique serial numbers within GS1 DataMatrix 2D barcodes to prescription drugs distributed in the United States under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA).  Once that happens, most prescription drugs entering the U.S. supply chain will be identified by 14-digit GS1 Global Trade Item Numbers (GTIN-14) for the first time (see “Anatomy of a GTIN”).  That’s because, you can’t fit the drug’s National Drug Code (NDC) along with the serial number, lot number and expiration date into a data matrix barcode, as required by the law, without first encoding it into a GTIN-14 (see “Anatomy Of The National Drug Code”, and “Depicting An NDC Within A GTIN”).  This fact forces companies to encode their NDCs into GTIN-14s, many for the first time. Continue reading Sponsored: How To Properly Define GTINs For Your NDCs

NDC Nearing Its End, Afflicted by ‘Identifier Failure’

business-executive-and-his-energy-level-concept-vector-cartoon-i-507717540_4911x3472Heart Failure is a human condition that is characterized by several easily identifiable symptoms, including fatigue, difficulty breathing and in its later stages, gurgled breathing.  My mother and my mother-in-law both suffered from heart failure during their decline.  Analogous to heart failure in humans is a condition of an identifier system that is near the end of its useful life that we can call “identifier failure”.  At the end of November, a new FDA final guidance called “Requirements for Foreign and Domestic Establishment Registration and Listing for Human Drugs, Including Drugs That Are Regulated Under a Biologics License Application, and Animal Drugs” went into effect.  Buried deep within this 200+ page document is the official announcement that signaled the National Drug Code (NDC) identifier system is now afflicted with this end-stage condition.  The NDC won’t last long now, and there is no longer any excuse for inaction.  The need for a replacement is now urgent. Continue reading NDC Nearing Its End, Afflicted by ‘Identifier Failure’

Is A GS1 GTIN Really Usable As An NDC For DSCSA Compliance? Part 2

QuestionBottle.Part 2Part 1 of this essay provided a wealth of hyperlinks into the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and FDA guidance documents with content related to placing the National Drug Code in human- and machine-readable form onto drug packages prior to November 27, 2017 (see “Is A GS1 GTIN Really Usable As An NDC For DSCSA Compliance?  Part 1”).  In Part 2, we will look at how the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) will change, or add-to, the requirements found in those earlier specifications.  And finally, we will be able to answer the question in the essay title.

HOW THE DSCSA CHANGES THE NDC AND BARCODE REQUIREMENTS FOR DRUG PACKAGES

First of all, the DSCSA does not change anything Continue reading Is A GS1 GTIN Really Usable As An NDC For DSCSA Compliance? Part 2

Is A GS1 GTIN Really Usable As An NDC For DSCSA Compliance? Part 1

QuestionBottleAfter November 27, 2017 the U.S. Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) requires drug manufacturers (2018 for repackagers) to affix a DSCSA “product identifier” to all drug packages entering the supply chain (see “The DSCSA Product Identifier On Drug Packages”).  According to the DSCSA, that product identifier must be present in both human-readable and 2D Data Matrix barcode forms.  Part of that product identifier is what is known as a Standardized Numerical Identifier (SNI).  The SNI is composed of the drug’s National Drug Code (NDC) and a serial number (see “DSCSA ‘Serial Numbers’”) that is unique on every individual package of that drug (see “FDA Aligns with GS1 SGTIN For SNDC” and “Anatomy Of An FDA SNI”).

Lately, I’ve heard people in the industry claim that it is acceptable to use a GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) that encapsulates an NDC (see “Depicting An NDC Within A GTIN”) to satisfy the NDC part of this DSCSA requirement to affix the product identifier on a drug package.  I’m not so sure about that.  Let me explain. Continue reading Is A GS1 GTIN Really Usable As An NDC For DSCSA Compliance? Part 1

An Open Letter To The FDA, RE: Please Fix The National Drug Code Soon

Dear FriendDear FDA,

Thanks for inviting me to your DSCSA Pilot Party this week.  I look forward to visiting you at your Silver Spring home so we can catch up on what’s been happing in our lives recently.  I’m glad you are thinking more about the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) lately.  I am too.

In fact, I’ve been thinking about how nice it would be if you would fix the broken National Drug Code (NDC) as part of the implementation of the DSCSA.  It’s really not very hard to do.  You already laid out and tested the path that needs to be followed when you implemented the Unique Device Identification (UDI) numbering system for medical devices a few years ago.

Remember how happy that made me?  Remember, I called it “revolutionary” (see “FDA Proposed UDI: A Revolution In Number Assignment”), and it was!  But before I get to how you could do it for pharmaceuticals, let me explain why you should do it as clearly as I can. Continue reading An Open Letter To The FDA, RE: Please Fix The National Drug Code Soon

The DSCSA, the NDC, Inventory Management, GS1 GTINs…and Turkeys

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!
Giving thanks!  It is my favorite holiday and I have a lot to be thankful for.

Until the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) was passed as part of the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) last year (see “It’s Official, President Obama Signs H.R. 3204, DQSA, Into Law”), companies could use whatever code they wanted to refer to the prescription drug products in supply chain operations and for their own inventory management.  Some probably chose the 10-digit National Drug Code (NDC), some probably chose the 11-digit reimbursement code that is based on the 10-digit NDC, and some probably chose to use a 12- or 14-digit GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) as a reference code for their inventory data.  But now that the DSCSA mandates the use of the 10-digit NDC when exchanging transaction data on January 1, companies using the other codes that are based on the NDC might need to Continue reading The DSCSA, the NDC, Inventory Management, GS1 GTINs…and Turkeys

UDI And The Approaching End Of The NDC

UDI Barcode Cake
UDI Barcode Cake from last week’s UDI Conference

To be honest, I was somewhat surprised when Jay Crowley announced during last week’s UDI Conference that the U.S. FDA had published the final rules for Unique Device Identification (UDI).  Its publication starts the clock on a host of new requirements designed to identify most medical devices in the U.S. market with the same standard approach.  That is expected to result in the reduction of errors made by medical professionals and also increase the accuracy and efficiency of the supply chain.  I’ve become a little jaded about healthcare Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) deadlines lately and so the fact that one actually happened caught me slightly off-guard.  Of course, UDI was Continue reading UDI And The Approaching End Of The NDC