China pilots far-reaching medical device identification system

Seeking to speed the integration of its medical device industry with the international market, China’s National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) is implementing a pilot system for identifying medical devices.

The Unique Medical Device Identification system is a set of alphanumeric and linear bar codes to identify and monitor each element of a medical device from the moment it is produced and enters the supply chain through its entire lifetime. If rolled out as expected nationally, the system would include a database available for public research.

The pilot program is the first step to establishing the UDI system throughout China. As conceived the program would be guided by the government but would be the responsibility of manufacturers to implement. It has been in the works for two years but has no implementation date as of yet.