GS1 standards help the pharmaceutical industry to a more efficient and safe supply chain. They are used to identify, capture and share accurate and reliable information about products. And to trace products and deliveries.

Pharmaceutical and GS1

GS1 standards enable the pharmaceutical industry to identify, capture and share information about products, packages and locations along the entire value chain. They are also widely used to track products and deliveries, which contributes to greater patient safety.

Why GS1?

Consumers and patients need accurate and secure information about the products they use. And the challenge of the pharmaceutical industry is to make the supply chain as efficient, safe and sustainable as possible.

GS1 standards for identification have been used for many years and help identify prescription drugs, over-the-counter products, packages and much more. Pharmacies also use different types of barcodes to be able to read goods and deliveries labeled with a barcode or 2D code. In 2019, an EU regulation started to apply that regulates that all prescription drug packaging must be labeled with the 2D barcode GS1 DataMatrix.

Trade item information and images are shared in a seamless flow so that pharmacy chains can provide the very latest information to consumers regardless of sales channel.

Thanks to GS1 standards, pharmacies and their suppliers can increase traceability in their supply chain. Increased control and secure information minimizes the risk of inaccuracies and helps the industry, for example, detect counterfeit products.

Benefits for your business

Sustainability and traceability
Create efficient information flows with greater visibility through the value chain. GS1 standard contributes to better safety, sustainability and traceability.
2d codes in retail - provides better traceability
Efficient logistics
Improve your supply chain, inventory management and shelf availability. When you have control over delivery, stock and distribution, you save time and costs.
Regulatory compliance
Follow the changing demands of the industry and regulators. It provides greater security and higher consumer trust for both the retailer and the brand owner.

Standards in use

In your industry, it is common to use a combination of GS1 standards and services. They are used for identification, capturing, sharing and data quality assurance.

  • GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) for product identification and outer packaging.

  • SSCC (Serial Shipping Container Code) for pallets and cages.

  • EAN-13, EAN-8, ITF-14 and GS1-128 are standards for barcodes.

  • RFID to simplify inventory and similar processes.

  • QR, GS1 DataMatrix and Data Matrix are standards for 2D barcodes.

  • GLN (Global Location Number) for identifying places and parties.

  • GDSN is the world’s largest product data network for synchronized data.

  • Validoo is a database service for validating and sharing data and images.

  • GS1 Trade Item Information for the exchange of digital product information.

  • Quality assurance is a service for manual control of data and images.

Database service for products and images


Use Sweden's largest database service for sharing high-quality trade item information and product images.
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Toolbox for brand owners

Step-by-step guides with videos, checklists and other resources to get started with GS1 standards and services for the pharmaceutical industry.

Traceability with GS1 standards
Data quality of your trade item information
Identify and label pallets and packages
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