Tag Archives: NDC

Is Your Drug Too Small For The Mandated 2D Barcode?

Is your Drug Too Small?  Sample vial and syringe with barcode attached.
As an experiment, I taped the smallest DSCSA-compliant 2D barcode I could define to these sample vial and syringe from CCL Label. Notice that neither sample includes the required human readable text of the data encoded in the barcode, which means that these examples may not comply in some markets. The barcode on the vial is readable, but the one on the syringe is not readable because of the short radius of the barrel (about 5mm).

RxTrace readers are already well aware that multiple new laws around the world will require prescription drug manufacturers to put a new 2D barcode on their products in the next few years.  But what if your drug package is too small to fit the new mandated 2D barcode and human readable information on the label?  Let’s take a look at what the regulations say in the E.U., Brazil and the United States.  From that, we can come up with some strategies. Continue reading Is Your Drug Too Small For The Mandated 2D Barcode?

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

Serializing Product Groupings Under Global Regulations

A “product grouping” is any collection of saleable units of products that are bound together in some way.  They can be “bundles”, homogeneous or non-homogeneous cases, totes, pallets or something like these.  The pharma serialization regulations in some markets call out some of these groupings for special treatment, and some do not.  I’ll try to catalog what we know about product groupings in each of the current, known regulations. Continue reading Serializing Product Groupings Under Global Regulations

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’

Product Identification And National Registration Codes

iStock_000090544423_smallerThere is a long-running tug-of-war going on between GS1 and national governments around the world over how exactly to identify medical products, whether devices or pharmaceuticals.  National governments regulate those products to maximize the health of their citizens and so they take a natural interest in how they are identified.  They want to eliminate all ambiguity between products within their market.  They need to be able to tightly grant market authorization, revoke it and oversee recalls when warranted.  To do that effectively, they need a way of clearly and concisely referencing a given product.  That same way of referencing the product should also be used for patient education and for healthcare professional prescribing.  Bad things happen when mistakes are made in the identification of healthcare products.

GS1 offers a global standard way of identifying Continue reading Product Identification And National Registration Codes

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