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GS1 works closely with the global healthcare community bringing together all related Healthcare stakeholders: pharmaceutical and medical devices manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors, group purchasing organisations, hospitals, pharmacies, logistics providers, governmental and regulatory bodies and associations.

It aims for development and implementation of global Supply Chain standards in healthcare in collaboration with the various stakeholders, as key enablers for patient safety and efficiency improvements. These two issues have been of major concern to healthcare regulators worldwide who are now directing stakeholders in the healthcare Supply Chain to implement automatic data capture technologies, open, interoperable identification standards, standardized electronic product catalogues and track & trace and product recall systems in the healthcare Supply Chain.

The GS1 System of Standards enables all stakeholders to efficiently and effectively comply with various local and global requirements by ensuring interoperability and compatibility within an organisation, between organisations and across borders.

Today, hospitals and their suppliers are filled with inaccurate and manually created item and company names and self-created numbering systems that differ from user-to-user and vendor-to-vendor, creating an environment for data exchange that is fraught with errors and inconsistencies which creates both inefficiencies throughout the Supply Chain and potential impact on patient safety. After many years of research and industry input, hospitals, distributors, manufacturers and other key stakeholders have come together to collaborate on the use of data standards to improve patient safety.

The mission of GS1 Healthcare is to lead the sector towards successful implementation of global standards that brings about the following benefits:

Prevention of medication errors: ensuring patient safety through the administration of right medicines to the right person in the right dosage at the right time through the right route of the administration.

Product authentication: enabling authentication of individual packages, cases or pallets of medical supplies.

Tracking medical products: enabling tracking and tracing of medical equipments, medicines etc. in the health care Supply Chain by using The Global Traceability Standard for Healthcare (GTSH) as a foundational framework, which describes the traceability process and defines minimum requirements for all stakeholders, independent of technologies, organization size or operational sophistication.

Freeing up healthcare professionals: allowing healthcare professionals to spend more time caring for patients by reducing time spent on paperwork and other manual processes like data processing and ordering and counting.

GS1 India has been closely engaged with the healthcare sector in India to promote awareness on global standards and best practices and to provide technical guidance and support in adoption and implementation of the same.

GS1 Standards have been adopted by the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India for unique identification of each CGHS beneficiary. Currently, 7 million beneficiaries have already been provided with unique identification using GS1 standards.

Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) , Ministry of Commerce, Government of India has mandated the use of GS1 standards in barcoding for export consignments of drugs for track & trace.

For global updates look up the GS1 Healthcare Newsletter