Australia’s CSO pharmaceutical wholesalers (Symbion, Sigma, API and National Pharmacies) have agreed to adopt the international GS1 standard, using GS1net, GS1 Australia’s data synchronisation platform.

This is a significant change which will enable greater safety, efficiency and convenience in the supply and delivery of medicines. The National Pharmaceutical Service Association (NPSA) points to three key benefits:

  1. Enhanced supply chain security
    Through use of unique Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) identification encoded in GS1 barcodes, product identification will be more robust, and products will be more traceable than ever before, safeguarding against counterfeiting, reducing medicine supply shortfalls and enhancing the ability for recalls (through GS1 Recallnet).
  2. Accessible data
    By ensuring consistent product data and unambiguous identification of products, the NPSA initiatives will provide a single quality-controlled, paperless and data-rich environment for use by pharmacists and the consumer.
  3. Patient-oriented
    Scanning at the point of dispense not only reduces errors but will enable pharmacists to record full product details – potentially including brand, batch, expiry date etc – giving the ability to load information into the patient record and assist in medication management.

This initiative is in line with the advances being made in Australia’s hospital supply chain. State and Territory Health Departments now require suppliers to populate the National Product Catalogue (NPC), hosted on GS1net, with current product and price data for the purposes of tenders, contracts and ensuring this information is kept up-to-date. This approach is playing an important role in improving procurement processes and delivering greater patient safety by ensuring that the right products are purchased at the right price, and are delivered at the right time and place.

If you are a supplier, what does this mean for you?

From February 2015 you will be able to send your product and price data electronically to GS1net for the CSO pharmaceutical wholesalers to access.

Don’t be invisible to your buyers. If you have not already done so, you should be taking steps to make sure that your data is up-to-date for these trading partners.

About Bizcaps

Bizcaps has extensive experience in the healthcare and grocery sector. As well as providing its MCIS software to large buyers such as NSW Health, HPV Victoria, Healthscope and wholesalers such as Sigma and CHS, Bizcaps DataSync and Bizcaps Enterprise product data management software simplifies the publishing of product information to GDSN-compliant datapools such as the NPC (National Product Catalogue) in Australia and the DHBNC in NZ. Bizcaps is an alliance partner of GS1 in Australia and New Zealand and a Solution Associate of GS1 UK.