GS1 Medical Datamatrix

After my previous post on GS1 DataMatrix on medical packaging, I realised I never did a post showing a correct, medical, GS1 DataMatrix. So here is a DataMatrix I found on some medication packaging. As GS1 is pushing for a wider adopting of 2D codes in retail, it made sense to fix this.


Above you can see the content of the code, with the application identifiers highlighted and the group separator character (0x1D) replaced with its visual representation, and line breaks added for legibility.

The first application code is 01, and gives the GTIN of the product (14 digits): 07680669330019. The code is registered with Mepha Pharma AG, and uses the 07680 prefix of Swiss-Medic. The product is Irfen Junior susp 100 mg/5ml fl 200 ml. The second application code is 21 (Serial Number). This is a variable length field, which contains 10030376244896 and is terminated by a group separator.

The third application code is 17 and contains the expiration date: 251130. What is interesting here is that the data is fully specified in the code, but rounded to the month in the human readable form. Maybe the last two digits are always the last day of the month. The last application code is 10, and is followed by the lot number. This is a variable length field, but as it is the last, no end marker is needed.

Having the expiration date and the lot number in machine readable format has many advantages for retail: the sale of expired goods can be prevented, and recalled products can be tracked. Another application code that will probably become more and more relevant is 8200, which specifies an URL with additional information. This means a package could have only one 2D-code, and not a special one with the URL.

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