I know that UPCs are optional. But I'm curious why when a company recalls all codes, those codes aren't listed. It would make it easier for apps to alert consumers accurately if more UPC codes were listed.

  • How would it make it easier for customers, unless their prescriptions are dispensed in the manufacturers original packaging. Without the original packaging there is not code to compare against, other than for OTC medications. Even within the pharmacy, unless the drug is one which has a low rate of turnover, even the bottles in the pharmacy will only represent the most recent purchases of product. I know when I worked retail, we would not order more than a months worth of any one medication at a time, even less if it was something very expensive, or a drug that had a wide variance in usage from Commented May 23, 2015 at 4:27
  • The above comment had been posted a (non-) answer ... continuing it : ... month to month. Besides, the UPC code is product specific, and contains zero information as to the batch number of the actual product within the bottle. It is a no-brainer to identify the recall drug product, strength, and bottle size (if the FDA has identified it down to this level of specificity), it is as everyday as the postman putting the letters in the correct mail box. My mail man is great at not mixing up my mail, but I was even better at not making such simple mistakes. ...
    – Joe
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 23:19
  • ... (continuing Kebil's comment) ... I suppose I don't understand your concern as to the UPC for recalls.
    – Joe
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 23:19
  • Personally, I would think that in today's age of electronic convenience, being able to scan a lot of boxes to see if they beep with a match (and then a human needs to read the batch number off) would be more convenient than having to read every last batch number w/out having that weeding process.
    – Joe
    Commented May 23, 2015 at 23:21
  • @joe: I was interested in food recalls from openfda. To alert users in realtime if items they purchased are recalled. UPC codes would make this way more accurate and prevent false alarms. Commented May 26, 2015 at 14:53


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