Barcode Pharmacode PZN 7 / PZN 8

PZN Pharma Barcode Example

An application in Germany of Code 39 that encodes seven or eight digits (the so called Pharmazentralnummer or PZN). A PZN is only issued for medical products (drugs, medical devices etc.) that are sold via pharmacies. This can be over-the-counter products but also drugs for which a prescription is required.

The number is prepended by the PZN identificator ("-") so that a complete PZN looks like this "-NNNNNNN" (PZN 7) or this "-NNNNNNNN" (PZN 8). The text under the barcode consists of the string "PZN", followed by the actual number ("PZN" is not encoded into the symbol). When encoding a PZN, Code 39 is used without a check digit as the PZN already contains a Modulo 11 check sum.

Historically, the PZN encoded seven digits. However, when a medical product (like a drug) is discontinued, its PZN can not be reused for safety reasons and is therefore permanently removed from the pool of available numbers. To prevent running out of numbers, in 2013 the PZN 8 was introduced. The extra digit increased the available number pool ten fold. To avoid issuing new numbers for existing products, existing PZN 7 numbers are converted into PZN 8 by simply prepending a "0".

PZN EAN in Austria

Like Germany, Austria has an identical system of nationwide managed medical products (likewise known as Pharmazentralnummer or PZN). However, Austria uses EAN 13 as a machine-readable representation of their PZNs. The EAN's content is constructed from the GS1 prefix (always "90"), followed by the ARGE ID string (always "8888") and the PZN plus the final check digit. As a compact alternative to EAN, the austrian PZN can also be encoded into Datamatrix. More here.

Code PZN barcode generator

Softmatic BarcodePlus V5 creates Code PZN and will export the barcode as PDF / SVG (resolution-independent vector) oder raster image (PNG, TIFF). The app will format the code according to the specs, the PZN has to be entered without the preceding hyphen but including the PZN check digit:

PZN Barcode Generator

Code PZN mass creation

For mass creation of Code PZN, see Softmatic BarcodeFactory: