NDC Barcodes Tutorial

What is NDC Barcode?

NDC barcode is used to encode National Drug Code identifiers. It is based on UPC–A and consists of 12 digits, the first one is always 3 and the last one is control digit. The rest 10 digits in the middle is the National Drug Code identifier.

Sample NDC barcode made by Barcode Generator

NDC Identifier Format

The NDC identifier itself consists of 3 segments: labeler code, product code and package code which can be grouped in one of the following ways: 4–4–2, 5–3–2 or 5–4–1 digits.

The first group is a labeler code — the drug manufacturer or distributor. The second group is a product code — which identifies the specific medical product for that labeler. Finally the last group is a package code which defines the type and size of the package.

Sample NDC barcode made by Barcode Generator

The 10–digit NDC identifiers are converted to barcodes by adding “3” in the beginning and a check digit at the end. Read more about NDC check digit calculation.

Making NDC Barcodes

To make an NDC barcode, start Barcode generator and select or create a National Drug Code barcode there:

National Drug Code barcode in the generator

Double–click the barcode to open the editor. You should see the barcode preview and the NDC identifier on the right:

National Drug Code barcode editor preview

The number on the right has the start digit “3” in the beginning and the check digit at the end as expected for NDC barcode, but you may simply enter your 10–digit NDC identifier right there. Say we have an identifier 1234567890:

Entering a sample NDC identifier

Barcode generator expects a fully–qualified NDC barcode number which starts with “3” and ends with a check digit. Although you can enter that manually, the easier way is to simply click the Fix Errors button, so the software do the job for you:

NDC barcode is now fixed

Done. The last thing you might want to do is to change the grouping of the digits to match the format you need.

Switch to the second panel on the right and adjust the Format option:

Changing NDC barcode format

Barcode preview is updated immediately when you change the format, so you can make sure that everything is displayed exactly as needed. You can customize other options of the barcode at that panel, as well.

Finally you can export the NDC barcode to one of the raster or vector formats, or simply drag and drop it into other software. Read more about exporting barcodes.

Converting 10–digit NDC to 11 Digits

To convert a 10–digit NDC identifier to 11 digits for a bill or form, you simply need to add a zero digit to the proper place. Here’s how:

Here are some examples, the added zeros are highlighted with red:

10–digit NDC Number10–digit NDC Format11–digit NDC Number

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