An allocated GTIN SHALL NOT be reallocated to another trade item. Healthcare companies must ensure that GTINs allocated to regulated healthcare trade items SHALL never be reused.
Exception: Regulated healthcare trade items that have been withdrawn from the market and are reintroduced may use the original GTIN if they are reintroduced without any modifications or changes which require a new GTIN as specified by the Healthcare GTIN Allocation Rules or the GTIN Management Standard.
As an example: “Product A”, a first-generation injectable antibiotic, was withdrawn from the market by its manufacturer due to declining sales. After a 10-year absence from the market, “Product A” was reintroduced by the manufacturer, in its original form and package configuration, to treat infections resistant to newer antibiotics. In this example the original GTIN may be used.
Note: GTINs assigned to regulated healthcare products have always been governed by a non-reuse policy. Outside of regulated healthcare, the general GTIN non-reuse rule went into effect on 1 January 2019 in response to digital business demand. GTINs discontinued and withdrawn from the market prior to 1 January 2019 may be considered for reuse one final time (*). However, companies are strongly advised to follow the non-reuse rule for all GTINs to avoid risks of conflicting data.
(*) If a GTIN was withdrawn prior to 1 January 2019, the previously applicable rules must be adhered to.
For more information refer to the GS1 General Specifications, GTIN Non-re-use section.
Brand owner discretion
Brand owners may change the GTIN as often as they think is appropriate based upon their needs as well as the needs of their consumers and trading partners.