Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)?

The Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is the globally unique GS1 identification number used to identify "trade items" (i.e., products and services that may be priced, ordered or invoiced at any point in the supply chain). GTINs are assigned by the brand owner of the product, and are used to identify products as they move through the global supply chain to the hospital or consumer/patient. The GTIN is used to uniquely identify a product at each packaging level (e.g., a bottle of 30 tablets; a case of 100 bottles of tablets, etc.).

What is a National Drug Code (NDC)?

The National Drug Code is a 10-digit identification number established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to identify drugs in accordance with Section 510 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (Act), 21 U.S.C. p360. The NDC is used by the manufacturer or relabeler to electronically submit registration and drug listing information to the FDA. The NDC consists of 3 segments which specify the drug product's labeler, trade product and package size. Each NDC code uniquely identifies a specific drug having a particular dosage form, strength, and package size.

How is the GTIN different from the NDC?

The GTIN differs from the NDC in two ways: The GTIN is used to identify all types of trade items, including drugs, medical devices, consumer products outside of the healthcare sector, and non-consumer trade items across all sectors. The GTIN is used for trade items around the world. The NDC is only used to identify drugs, and only drugs subject to U.S. FDA regulation. The GTIN uniquely identifies not only the individual sale unit of packaging, but also higher level groupings such as homogeneous cases, homogeneous pallets, etc. So, for example, a 30-tablet bottle of Drug XYZ will have one GTIN, and a 12-bottle case of the same drug will have a different GTIN. The NDC only identifies the drug itself, and does not distinguish between the individual sale unit and higher level groupings.

What is the relationship between an NDC and a GTIN?

Drug trade items that have an NDC can be given a GTIN that embeds the NDC. This is a best practice. For an individual sale unit, the NDC is embedded in a GTIN-12 by combining the following elements in left-to-right order: ? The digit "3" ? The 10-digit NDC ? A check digit, computed from the previous 11 digits according to the GS1 check digit calculator
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Advasur has acknowledged the benefits and expedience of using EPCIS for data modeling and JSON as the solution for electronic data movement

JSON vs XML …The benefits

Extensible Markup Language (XML) used to be the only choice for open data interchange. However, developments in open data sharing have introduced more options for developers, each with their own set of benefits. While XML may be a widespread method for API integration, that doesn't mean it's the best choice for your project.

JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is one alternative that's attracting a lot of attention. The first thing that comes to mind when you mention JSON to developers is that it's lightweight compared to other open data interchange options. However, that's not the only reason you should use it for your next RESTful API integration. Consider these features.

Less Verbose

>JSON has a more compact style than XML, and it is often more readable. The lightweight approach of JSON can make significant improvements in RESTful APIs working with complex systems.


>The XML software parsing process can take a long time. One reason for this problem is the DOM manipulation libraries that require more memory to handle large XML files. JSON uses less data overall, so you reduce the cost and increase the parsing speed.


The JSON structure is straightforward and readable. You have an easier time mapping to domain objects, no matter what programming language you're working with.

Structure Matches the


JSON uses a map data structure rather than XML's tree. In some situations, key/value pairs can limit what you can do, but you get a predictable and easy-to-understand data model.

Objects Align in Code

JSON objects and code objects match, which is beneficial when quickly creating domain objects in dynamic languages.

JSON Limitations

The limitations in JSON actually end up being one of its biggest benefits. A common line of thought among developers is that XML comes out on top because it supports modeling more objects. However, JSON's limitations simplify the code, add predictability, and increase readability.

In comparison to an XML model, a JSON data structure is intuitive, making it easy to read and map directly to domain objects in whatever programming language is being used.

RESTful APIs depend on easy, reliable, and fast data exchanges. JSON fits the bill for each of these attributes, while XML is struggling to keep up. As more developers expand their API integration skills, the advantages of a simple data exchange become apparent.