Abbott puts bar codes on injectables, IV solutions

Company utilizes Reduced Space Symbology

By the time the government has mandated the bar-coding of medications, at least one drug company already will have finished its own bar-coding program.

Abbott Laboratories has announced that it has completed its initiative to attach unit-of-use bar codes to 100% of its more than 1,000 hospital injectable pharmaceuticals and IV solutions. Abbott says its program is consistent with the preliminary guidance issued in the FDA’s March 13 proposed rule to require bar-code labeling on all prescription and some over-the-counter drugs and vaccines.

About one-quarter of Abbott’s hospital injectables and IV solutions use the Reduced Space Symbology technology, which allows a miniaturized bar code to be applied to single-unit containers as small as a pen cap. Abbott also has launched a new patient-controlled analgesia device, the LifeCare PCA3 Infusion System, that incorporates a built-in bar code reader to identify and verify drug and dose concentrations automatically.

For more information about Abbott’s bar-coding program, visit the company’s web site at