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Home > Products > EPCIS

RF Commerce - One relationship for your drug pedigree needs

Products -- Counterfeit Drug

  • What is an EPCIS ?

    According to GS1, Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) is a standard that defines interfaces to enable sharing of data between trading partners.

    EPCIS is not a service.

    What are the components ?

    Serial number (EPC number - Enterprise Identifier or GTIN) The GTIN is a Global Trade Item Number. lt's estimated that close to 100% of drug producers already have a GTIN, which is incorporated in the product UPC. For additional information see www.gtin.info

    But let's assume as a drug producer you've elected not to spend your money with GS1 for a GTIN. Your options are CAGE/NCAGE, DODAAC, or D-U-N-S. These Enterprise identifiers should be acceptable and are open standards for doing business with the US Government.

    Appended to the Enterprise Identifier is a serial number that may identify facility, subcontractor, subsidiary, division, etc....

    In most cases the part number is added to the identifier.

    Appended to the Part Number is a serial number for each bottle, blister pack or carton.

    This is also commonly referred to as a Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC)

    The SCC-14 and the SSCC-18 are both applied to cartons and shipping containers but they serve two different purposes. The SCC-14 is assigned to a particular product and package quantity. All identical products in the same package quantity are assigned the same number. The SCC-14 number means a specific product and package quantity.

    Scanning the SCC-14 identifies the product and quantity but not which purchase order it should be applied against. The SCC-14 number can be printed as soon as the product is manufactured without regard for who it is going to or the need to link a particular carton to a particular purchase order. All cartons containing the same product and the same package quantity will have the same SCC-14.

    The SSCC-18, on the other hand, is different for each carton and shipping container, regardless of its contents. The SSCC-18 can be applied in addition to the SCC-14 or, if the customer allows it, instead of the SCC-14. The SSCC-18 is especially useful for tracking cartons containing custom quantities of mixed products. The SSCC-18 is normally not printed until the customer and destination for that particular carton is known. Generally, this means printing after the picking process and before the shipping process.

    Lot, batch and expiration

    Location (GLN)

    The GLN (Global Location Number) provides a standard means to identify legal entities, trading parties and locations to support the requirements of electronic commerce.

    The GLN can be a functional entity, physical entity, legal entity, or trading partner.

    The GLN from GS1 is an open standard, for a fee.

    D-U-N-S is a GLN open standard that is not for a fee. DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) NUMBER. A 9 digit numerical identifier/number created for an organization by Dunn & Bradstreet. A different DUNS number shall be assigned for each physical location different address of an organization, as well as each legal division that may be co-located. A DUNS number is frequently required to register with the CCR (Central Contractor Register). It is an alternative to the ISN system.

    If a drug producer has a line of credit and pays taxes, they most likely have a D-U-N-S.

    Time stamp

    Business process (Packaging, receiving, shipping)

    State (In transit, storage, saleable)

    It's a bit of a challenge to locate a single drug manufacturer that in 2007 did not have in their ERP and WMS, all the components of EPCIS except for the serial number (GTIN).

    Of course attempting to integrate a serial number into a complex ERP, MES and WMS infrastructure can be daunting. On the otherhand, there is no need to integrate the serial number into the existing data infrastructure to be compliant with California ePedigree requirements. In fact, it's enough to export the existing data elements to a service that merges the serial numbers (GTIN) with the existing data.

    The RF Commerce approach to EPCIS is predicated on the size of the drug producing organization.

    There are close to 350 prescription drug plants in the USA and an additional 250 plants outside the USA.

    For the 100+ plants that are owned and operated by the top 20 drug companies, an in-house EPCIS may fit the financial architecture.

    For the remaining plants, it's significantly more economical to have a centralized EPCIS that manages the association of serialization with the existing enterprise data.


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