China will launch a long-awaited unified code name system in the pharmaceutical industry, probably by the end of this year, one of the persons responsible for drafting the system said yesterday in Shanghai.
All medicines in the country will be included in the new system and each drug will be given a code name for wide recognition and digital management, according to Wang Jinxia, vice chairman of the China Association of Pharmaceutical Commerce, who is one of the three persons to draft the system.
"Everything is ready (for the system) and it only needs government bureaus' approval," Wang said during a Sinopharm Medicine Holdings Co event to adopt a new IT system.
In the past, names of medicines in China were written in Chinese, English, Latin or just numbers, which lacked a unified code name system.
Preparations for the system started in 1997 but the implementation of it was delayed due to various bureaus and organizations wanting to control the system, according to an industry insider who declined to be identified.
"China's drug firms urgently need the unified coding system to improve efficiency and cut costs," Wang said.
A total of 11 drug firms, which generate an annual revenue of more than five billion yuan (US$657 million) each, accounted for 38 percent of combined industry sales.
Sinopharm Medicine, China's No. 1 drug distributor with annual revenue of more than 10 billion yuan, announced yesterday it has signed with US-based GSX International Inc and Shanghai-based AgileSC Inc to adopt GSX's IT suite on supply chain management.
"The inventory cost is what we are most concerned with and the GSX system will greatly help us," said Ma Wanjun, Sinopharm's distribution division general manager.
All data can be shared and better managed with the new unified code name system, industry insiders said.
(Shanghai Daily October 17, 2007)