The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has received many questions about the reporting of the National Drug Code (NDC) and why some commercial payers and state Medicaid programs are now requiring these codes when billing for medications (eg, Rocephen) and vaccines (eg, ProQuad). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented a new claim form, CMS 1500, in July 2007. Among the changes to the 1500 form is the addition of a line for the NDC, found in Box 24 (see Figure 1 for an example).

The NDC system was originally established as an essential part of an out-of-hospital drug payment program under Medicare. The NDC serves as a universal product identifier for human drugs. The Drug Listing Act of 1972, amending the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), became effective February 1, 1973. Its purpose is to provide the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)...

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