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Learning Zone resources for Permanent GTIN include a webinar video.



Permanent GTINs in the Healthcare Sector

In healthcare and pharmacy, the rules for how GTINs are allocated to products and how they are used are slightly different to other sectors.

Many products in healthcare and pharmacy are given what is known as a permanent GTIN, sometimes known as a non-reuse GTIN.

While a GTIN may be re-used for a different product after four years of non-use, permanent GTINs never expire. Each GTIN will always correspond to its original product, no matter how long it has been since that product was manufactured.

This enables traceability of all medical products back to the patients that have used them.

It doesn’t matter how long ago you had an artificial hip installed or took a particular medication; if anything comes to light about those products that you need to know, permanent GTIN rule helps that information to come to you.

Permanent GTINs apply to all:

  • Pharmaceutical products classed as DIN, DIN-HM or NPN

  • Medical devices found in Classes 2 to 4

Manufacturers and healthcare providers should

Why are permanent GTINs important to manufacturers and healthcare providers?

  • Protects patient safety.

  • Permanently connected to a patient’s Electronic Medical Record.

  • Traceable in the event of a product recall or new adverse reaction becoming known.

  • Allows patients to be contacted about a product even if it is no longer manufactured or supported.

  • Helps manufacturers protect brand by enable swift and accurate response to issues that arise.

What are the consequences in deleting information attached to a permanent GTIN?

  • Difficulty in accurately identifying which products are subject to product recalls.

  • Traceability within Electronic Medical Records is lost. Products under product recalls cannot be traced back to patients, risking their safety.

  • Incorrect data may be sourced by healthcare professionals; practitioners may incorrectly administer a pharmaceutical product, believing product data for a previous user of that GTIN is still valid.

  • Loss of confidence in product data.

  • May need to reprint packaging.

  • May be subject to corrective measures from trading partners who expect permanent GTIN compliance.



GS1 Canada is currently working on system upgrades that will make compliance with permanent GTIN non-deletion rules easier. We hope to announce these in 2016.