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Bar Coding for Medical Devices Is Becoming a Regulatory Requirement

For many years, medical device manufacturers primarily used bar codes internally to track products as they moved from manufacturing facilities to labeling sites to distribution centers. Then, regulatory bodies began requesting bar codes to be placed on devices for reimbursement purposes. More recently, some of Europe’s national competent authorities (CAs) have lobbied for the implementation of bar coding in their country for traceability and patient safety reasons. Clearly, a pattern is emerging, and medical device manufacturers placing products in the European marketplace would be well-advised to consider their bar code strategy going into 2009.

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