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Bar Coding

Bar codes are used in the pharmaceutical industry to identify product throughout the supply chain. Different levels of information can be carried in a barcode, including such items as National Drug Code (NDC), Lot Number, and Expiration Date. There are several different types of bar codes, and the standards for what those bar codes look like and how they are to be used are housed with both the Uniform Code Council (UCC) and the Health Industry Business Communications Council (HIBCC).

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General Information

Committees and Taskforce Responsibility
Logistics Operations Committee


HDMA Guidelines for Bar Coding in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

HDMA’s Guidelines for Bar Coding in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain is an electronic publication providing specifications for bar coding and labeling healthcare products. With the continuing pressure to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient safety, these guidelines explore the perpetual need to increase efficiency along the pharmaceutical supply chain, specifically through the identification and refinement of proven technologies. Developed by the HDMA Bar Code Task Force, this revision of the formerly titled HDMA Guidelines for Bar Coding in the Pharmaceutical Products Supply Chain reflects recent changes to industry terminology, and includes updated and expanded content. This latest edition identifies changes made to the shipping container label bar code formats and to the serialization process, as well as recommendations made by the HDMA Bar Code Task Force for the industry moving forward.

2014-2015 HDMA Factbook

Now in its 85th edition, the 2014–2015 HDMA Factbook is the healthcare distribution industry’s most comprehensive and reliable source of industry performance data. This easy-to-use reference guide features more than 120 robust data tables based on original survey data as well as secondary sources from leading industry healthcare industry organizations. 

John Howells
Senior Director, Industry Relations

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