Barcodes on medicines

In February 2019, the European Directive 2011/62/EU entered into force, establishing a single Community code to prevent the falsification of medicines. The entire chain involved in the production and sale of medicines, from laboratories to pharmacies, must take this into account so that they reach citizens.

All those involved had to adapt their computer system to the new data registration regulations. To do this, they use the Datamatrix codes, which replaces the traditional drug barcode, in addition to the seal that verifies that the container has not been manipulated.

Information collected by the Datamatrix

Datamatrix barcodeThe Datamatrix is a two-dimensional square-shaped code that is capable of storing up to 2,335 alphanumeric characters. Their biggest advantage is that, thanks to their redundant information system and error correction, they are readable with up to 30% of their surface damaged. In addition, there does not need to be a high contrast for reading.

This code is a unique identifier for each package individually, so that each drug marketed is registered. It collects all the necessary information for its tracking: product code (14 digits), refund code, serial number (10 digits), lot (alphanumeric code) and expiration date (month and year). Once verified, the product is scanned, and its code is deactivated.

How to treat the barcode of medicines

Datamatrix codes, unlike QR codes, need a specific reader in order to be decoded. When the European directive was launched, pharmacies had to equip themselves with 2D code readers, as pharmacists must also scan the barcode of medicines to confirm, through the European platform, that the product is the same as the one that left the production plant. In Logiscenter we have a wide variety of models and important manufacturers, such as Datalogic, Honeywell, Unitech or Motorola.

If you still have questions about barcodes, contact the Logiscenter technical team and they will help you with everything you need.