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GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN)

GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) GS1                                       CAS *

The GS1 Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) is the global GS1 standard that enables products such as pharmaceuticals (prescription and over the counter products) and other products (e.g., medical devices, food products) to be uniquely identified in Canada and globally.

One of the key benefits of the GTIN is that it can be encoded in bar codes and RFID tags, thereby enabling automatic (machine) identification – on a global scale – of a given product as well as standardized, accurate, rapid exchange of this information throughout the value chain process. For example, the GTIN uniquely identifies pharmaceutical products at each packaging level hierarchy (including unit of use), at each point of manufacturing, distribution, inventory management, compounding, dispensing, and point of care/ point of sale.

The use of the GTIN with medication bar code scanning has been demonstrated to avert medication errors and to streamline dispensing and administration processes, thereby enhancing patient safety as well as operational efficiencies.

Supporting Organization

GS1 Canada is a member of GS1, the world's leading supply chain standards organization. As a neutral, not-for-profit organization, GS1 Canada enables its more than 20,000 members – organizations of all sizes from over 20 sectors across Canada – to enhance their efficiency and cost effectiveness by adopting electronic supply chain best practices.

Learn more about GTIN.


* Status Definitions

Canadian Draft for Use (CDFU) - The standard has been developed but it may or may not be implemented or be in use. The standard is considered ready to be used by early adopters: however, change is probable as stakeholders begin using the standard in implementations.

Canadian Approved Standards (CAS) - The standard is in use for the purpose(s) or context(s) for which it was intended. Only those parts of the standard that have been implemented or are in use can progress for consideration as CAS. This decision point signifies that the standard has reached a level of stability and is comprehensive enough such that major changes are not expected.

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