Product identification and -information with PZN (national) and PPN (international)
Informationsstelle für Arzneispezialitäten GmbH – IFA GmbH is a joint clearing entity of pharmacies, pharmaceutical wholesalers and the pharmaceutical industry in Germany. It aids as neutral contractor the participants of the healthcare market in the light of national and European regulations concerning social affairs, pricing and billing as well as security and logistics with its standardised and quality assured information. IFA GmbH gathers and maintains, on behalf of its suppliers, economic, legal and logistical data on medicinal products, medical devices and other pharmacy-typical products and publishes the data as IFA Information Services. At the same time, IFA GmbH is the national issuing agency of both Pharmazentralnummer (PZN Code) and Pharmacy Product Number (PPN). It is a registered issuing agency in accordance with ISO/IEC standards for the allocation of UDI stated in regulations (EU) 2017/745 (MDR) and (EU) 2017/746 (IVDR). Further information can be found here.
The PZN is a one-to-one identification key for medicinal products, medical devices and other pharmacy-typical products in the German pharmaceutical market. The centralised issuing of the PZN, guidelines for data recipients and an extensive quality assurance form the prerequisite for the PZN’s one-to-one correspondence and the consistency of information. A PZN remains through its “lifetime” clearly recognisable despite e.g. supplier changes, company mergers or alterations.
The PZN serves as efficient, internal and external product-related communication (i. a. supply chain, billing) of trade partners and organisations in the healthcare system. At the same time it is a national tag according to § 300 SGB V, that must be affixed onto the outer package of medicinal products by pharmaceutical entrepreneurs according to § 131 SGB V. Thus, the PZN accomplishes a vital contribution to therapeutic safety, in logistics and legally watertight billing.
Pharmacy Product Number (PPN)
As issuing agency in accordance with ISO/IEC standards, IFA GmbH assigns the PPN. The PPN enables world-wide use of the PZN as well as every other national product number. Thus, it is of vital importance for implementing the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD). IFA specifications on coding the PPN for retail packs can be found here.