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FDA Drug Bar Code Proposal Could Extend To OTCs

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

FDA will seek comment on whether all OTC and Rx drugs should carry bar codes during a public meeting in Bethesda, Md. July 26

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Limited Bar Codes On OTC Outer Labeling Endorsed By Novartis

Establishment of a bar code labeling final rule specific to OTC drugs is urged by Novartis Consumer Health in Aug. 8 comments to FDA

CHPA on bar codes

Use of the UPC code to address medication errors will "result in significant barriers in distribution channels" if it changes code's current intended use or efficiency, CHPA says in July 12 comments to FDA. Responding to agency's request for input on whether all OTC, Rx drugs should carry bar codes, trade association says it is unsure whether "a bar code in addition to the UPC on the package is either feasible or that institutions will have the appropriate tools to read this code and convert the information into a usable format that will reduce medication errors." CHPA cites need to establish "well-developed, evidence-based description" of medication errors involving OTC use in institutional settings. Group will make more detailed remarks at July 26 meeting (1"The Tan Sheet" June 24, 2002, p. 4)...

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