Explanation of terms used by DrugBank

National Drug Code (NDC)

National Drug Code, NDC, NDC code, NDC ID, NDC identification

The NDC, or National Drug Code, is a unique 10-digit, 3-segment number 2. It is used in DrugBank as a universal product identifier for human drugs in the United States. The code is found on all nonprescription (over the counter) and prescription medication packages and inserts in the U.S., however the presence of an NDC for a product does not reflect its approval status with the FDA. More information about NDC codes can be obtained from the FDA website 1.

The number of digits in each segment may vary, and are broken down as follows:

1. The first segment is a 4 or 5 digits long and represents the labeller.
2. The second segment is 3 or 4 digits long and represents the product.
3. The third segment is 1 or 2 digits long and represents the package.

Some examples include 17314-9400-1 and 64365-507-02.

In the DrugBank commercial products, the NCD code can be used to look up product and drug information, as well as drug interactions, side affects, indications, and contraindications. DrugBank data extracts and APIs also include a normalized NDC code, which pads the segments with zeros to always be the same length of 5-4-2 (with dashes). This allows for simplified searching across resources which store the codes in different formats. The first 2 segments of the NDC code are used without the third when talking about products only. For example, a product in DrugBank could have the NDC product code 64365-507.


  1. National Drug Code Directory, [Link]
  2. Idaho MMIS document, NDC codes [File]